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Proceedings Paper

Precision measurement with ultra-cold atoms in microgravity (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Philippe Bouyer
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Paper Abstract

Over the past few decades, the development of laser-cooling techniques has made it possible to exploit the quantum properties of matter at very low temperatures. These techniques have enabled experimentalists to coherently manipulate quantum objects with a very high degree of precision. In this context, atom interferometry has emerged as a powerful tool for metrology. Nowadays, atom interferometers (AIs) are used for a wide range of applications, such as sensitive probes of inertial forces, or studies of fundamental physics and tests of gravitational theories. Our experiment uses a dual-species gravimeter to test the weak equivalence principle (WEP). Here, two overlapped samples of 39K and 87Rb are simultaneously interrogated during free-fall—yielding a precise measurement of their differential acceleration under gravity. These experiments have been carried out in the weightless on ground and in the environment of parabolic flight. The new compact transportable quantum sensors used for drift-free integration in the 0-g airbus. The starting point for many experiments aimed at studying fundamental physics is to prepare a pure sample in terms of its energy, spin and momentum before injecting into an atom interferometer, spectrometer or quantum simulator. We will present an all-optical technique to prepare ultra-cold sample in magnetically insensitive state with high purity, a versatile preparation scheme particularly well suited to performing matter-wave interferometry with species exhibiting closely separated hyperfine levels, such as the isotopes of lithium and potassium. We will also present the recent progress in measuring the Eotvos parameter which compared the gravitational acceleration measured by two atomic species. We will finally discuss how precision atom interferometry can be used to perform long-term, drift-free integration even in the harsh environment of the plane, and thus provide a new tool for precision measurement and navigation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2019
Proc. SPIE 10934, Optical, Opto-Atomic, and Entanglement-Enhanced Precision Metrology, 109341Z (5 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2515426
Show Author Affiliations
Philippe Bouyer, LP2N (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10934:
Optical, Opto-Atomic, and Entanglement-Enhanced Precision Metrology
Selim M. Shahriar; Jacob Scheuer, Editor(s)

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