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Atom Interferometry with Ultra-cold Atoms

Prof. Mark Kasevich

Physics Department, Yale University, USA

11.00am, Thursday 13 December 2001, Laby Theatre, School of Physics, University of Melbourne

Recent advances in the field of atom interferometry have opened the possibility of a new class of precise and accurate inertial force sensors. We have built laboratory prototypes of accelerometers, gravity gradiometers and gyroscopes based on atom interference principles which now perform at levels which compare favorably with other state-of-the-art sensors. These instruments, and their applications in science and technology, will be presented. Applications range from new tests of General Relativity tot he development of next generation inertial navigation systems. The possible impact of Bose-Einstein condensed atomic sources will be assessed in the context of these applications. In particular, proof-of-principle measurements of the acceleration due to gravitym based on an effect analogous to the AC Josephson effect, will be discussed, as well as methods which exploit squeezed atomic states to enhance measurement sensitivity.

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