We consider resonant dynamics in a dilute atomic gas falling under gravity through a periodically pulsed standing-wave laser field. Our numerical calculations are based on a Monte Carlo method for an incoherent mixture of noninteracting plane waves, and we show that quantum resonances are highly sensitive to the relative acceleration between the atomic gas and the pulsed optical standing wave. For particular values of the atomic acceleration, we observe fractional resonances. We investigate the effect of the initial atomic momentum width on the fractional resonances and quantify the sensitivity of fractional resonances to thermal effects
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