University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Cold Atoms > A single atom matterwave interferometer

A single atom matterwave interferometer

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  • UserGrant Biedermann (Sandia Labs)
  • ClockTuesday 05 March 2013, 11:00-12:00
  • HousePhysics East 217.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Vincent Boyer.

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Over the past 22 years, light-pulse atom interferometers have shown an exceptional capacity for precision metrology [1]. To maximize sensitivity, the majority of atom interferometers utilize large ensembles of atoms or high flux beams [2]. In contrast, we have realized a new scheme that demonstrates single-particle control in a free-space atom interferometer, and thus provides a textbook experiment for self-interference [3]. We show that this technique is sensitive to forces at the level of 3.2 × 10^-27 N with a spatial resolution at the micron scale. Of particular interest at this length scale is the ability to probe, with absolute accuracy, forces that are very near to surfaces [4] such as Casimir-Polder forces as well as hypothetical forces that result in non-relativistic deviations from Newtonian gravitation. Furthermore, single-particle control can be extended to arrays of atoms in which it is possible to introduce atom-atom coupling mediated by the dipole-dipole interactions of Rydberg states. Ground state cesium atoms can be dressed by laser fields in a manner conditional on the Rydberg blockade mechanism [5], thereby providing entangling interactions. This paves a path toward entangled state atom interferometry [6] as well as quantum simulation.

[1] M. Kasevich and S. Chu, “Atomic interferometry using stimulated Raman transitions”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 181 (1991)

[2] McGuinness, et al., “High data-rate atom interferometer for measuring accelerations”, Applied Phys. Lett. 100, 011106 (2012)

[3] Parazzoli, et al., “Observation of free-space single-atom matterwave interference”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 230401 (2012)

[4] S. Dimopoulos and A. A. Geraci, “Probing submicron forces by interferometry of Bose-Einstein condensed atoms”, Phys. Rev. D 68 , 124021 (2003)

[5] Keating, et al., “Adiabatic quantum computation with Rydberg-dressed atoms”, arXiv:1209.4112 (2012)

[6] Leifried, et al., “Creation of a six-atom ‘Schrödinger cat’ state”, Nature 438, 639 (2005)

This talk is part of the Cold Atoms series.

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