Alex Dunning (University of Southampton, UK)

Monday, August 19, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
AMO Seminars


AMO Seminar

Monday, August 19, 2013
Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB) Room 4-330

Guest Speaker: Alex Dunning (University of Southampton, UK)

Talk Title: "Broadband atom interferometry with composite pulses: Towards interferometric cooling"


The wave-like nature of cold atoms, and their sensitivity to inertial forces, can be exploited through atom interferometry to precisely probe physical concepts such as gravity and the fine structure constant. The laser pulses which form the 'beamsplitters' and 'mirrors' in atom interferometers are commonly subject to systematic errors, such as laser intensity or frequency variations, which lead to a reduction in pulse fidelity and a lowering of the overall readout signal. One promising solution to this problem is to employ tailored error-resistant sequences known as composite pulses. The application of NMR-style composite pulses in (but not restricted to) atom interferometry, and their effect on pulse fidelity, is the leading topic of this talk.

Atom interferometers can be designed in which the output state, and the associated photon recoil, is dependent on the initial velocity of the atom. This allows us to engineer interferometric cooling forces on an atomic velocity distribution. This new and exciting cooling technique, and its potential application to molecules, is the second topic of this talk.