Atom interferometry


The activities of the group in the field of atom interferometry are focussed on the influence of external potentials, especially those connected to inertia and gravitation, on the phase shift.

Our results include

  • A detailed analysis of the measurability of the influence of space-time curvature on atomic matter for both the curvature produced by the Earth and two laboratory-sized lead blocks (published in Phys. Rev. A 50, p. 2080 (1994)).
  • The preceding analysis assumed that the interferometer is of the Ramsey-Borde type. By using algebraic methods it was possible to derive the phase shift caused by a class of external potentials for any atom interferometer with laser beams serving as beam splitters. (published in Journ. Phys. II (Paris) 4, p. 2073 (1994)).
  • Due to the general applicability of the algebraic method used in the preceding paper it was possible to address questions of the kind: What is the simplest interferometer which is insensitive to any acceleration or rotation? We found that the easiest interferometer of this type must have five parallel laser beams to split and recombine the atomic beam (published in Phys. Rev. A 53, p. 312 (1996)).