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Proceedings Paper

Interferometry with atoms and molecules: a tutorial
Author(s): David E. Pritchard; Michael S. Chapman; Christopher R. Ekstrom; Troy D. Hammond; David A. Kokorowski; Alan Lenef; Richard A. Rubenstein; Joerg Schmiedmayer; Edward T. Smith
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Paper Abstract

Since the first interferometers for atoms and molecules were demonstrated in 1991, they have already been applied to measure atomic and molecular properties, to investigate fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, and to measure inertial motion. This tutorial is designed to introduce those with a vague understanding of optical interferometers to atom interferometry. We outline the basic theory needed to calculate the observed phase shift, indicate how this phase shift is experimentally determined, and then describe how the phase shift is found in two particular cases: phase shifts caused by application of a uniform electric field to atoms on one side of the interferometer, and phase shift arising from the presence of a gaseous medium through which the atom wave on one side of the interferometer must propagate. We illustrate this presentation with a description of our three grating interferometer, including data taken with it.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2995, Atom Optics, (1 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273761
Show Author Affiliations
David E. Pritchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael S. Chapman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Christopher R. Ekstrom, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Troy D. Hammond, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David A. Kokorowski, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Alan Lenef, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Richard A. Rubenstein, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Joerg Schmiedmayer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Edward T. Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2995:
Atom Optics
Mara Goff Prentiss; William D. Phillips, Editor(s)

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