Precision Atom Interferometry

Speaker: 
Mark Kasevich (Stanford)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2015-01-15 17:00 - 18:00
Location: 
Chem D-215
Local Contact: 
Kirk Madison
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Recent advances in atom optics and atom interferometry have enabled observation of atomic de Broglie wave interference when atomic wavepackets are separated by distances exceeding 10 cm and times of nearly 3 seconds. With further refinements, these methods may lead to meter-scale superpositions. In addition to providing new tests of quantum mechanics, these methods allow inertial force sensors of unprecedented sensitivity. We will describe methods demonstrated and results obtained in a 10 m atomic fountain configuration, their implications for technological applications in  inertial navigation and their relevance to fundamental studies in gravitational physics, including tests of the Equivalence Principle. We will describe supporting techniques used to cool atoms to effective temperatures below 50 pK in two dimensions and novel atom optics configurations which have achieved greater than 5 sec of quasi-inertial free fall.

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