University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Friday GR Seminar > Opening a new window on the universe through long-baseline atom interferometry

Opening a new window on the universe through long-baseline atom interferometry

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Isobel Romero-Shaw.

Atom interferometry is a novel quantum sensing technology based on the principles of quantum mechanics and the wavelike nature of ultracold atoms. Matter-wave physics has rapidly developed since the days of de Broglie with the theory and demonstration of Bose-Einstein condensation in laboratories to the manipulation of such cold atom systems for quantum simulation, quantum computing, and matter-wave interferometry. These new technologies are now at a stage where they are leaving the confines of extremely clean laboratory environments and moving out into the field to be deployed as gravimeters, gradiometers, and long-baseline detectors. At the 10 m scale atom fountains have demonstrated high sensitivity to accelerations, measurements of the rotation of the earth, tests of the Equivalence Principle and large scale tests of quantum mechanics by separating and detecting a superposition of rubidium atoms at a distance of 54 cm. We now look to scale these types of detectors up to the 100 m and 1 km baseline length, and eventually move the technology to space. By utilizing advances in atom interferometry such as: large momentum transfer, gradiometry, and atomic clock modes of strontium we aim to advance these detectors to a stage capable of searching for ultralight dark matter and as a new testbed for gravitational wave searches in the mid-frequency band (0.3 Hz — 5 Hz). I will present some background on atom interferometers and how we look to build these long-baseline devices at the MAGIS -100 experiment at Fermilab in the US and the AION project in the UK and what a future network of these devices could look like. I will then discuss the current status, sensitivities, and technological challenges and terrestrial limitations for these long-baseline atom interferometers.

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This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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