"Precision measurements with atom interferometry," by Paul Hamilton (UC Berkeley)

Friday, May 10, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
AMO Seminars

AMO Seminar

Friday, May 10
Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB) Room 4-330

Guest Speaker: Paul Hamilton (UC Berkeley)

Talk Title: "Precision measurements with atom interferometry"


The interference of ultracold atoms has moved far beyond an academic demonstration of  the wave nature of matter predicted by quantum mechanics to a precision measurement technique with a wide range of applications.   In this talk I'll discuss several experiments ranging from fundamental physics to commercial navigation.  First I'll describe an experiment to test Einstein's equivalence principle to better than one part in 10^-14, using an optical lattice to perform interferometry with two isotopes of lithium.  I'll discuss our recent results demonstrating a new method for cooling lithium to sub-Doppler temperatures in preparation for interferometry.  Second, I'll describe work on a novel atom interferometer operated inside an optical cavity.  The cavity offers several advantages - power enhancement leads to better atomic beamsplitters and the well defined cavity modes eliminate many systematic shifts.  In addition, higher order transverse cavity modes allow both rotation and acceleration measurements in a single system.  Finally, I'll discuss a new atomic beamsplitter and its possible application to experiments ranging from anti-hydrogen interferometry to compact navigation sensors.