Experiments in Cold Atom Optics at ARL I: Introduction to Atom Chip Set-up

Report No. ARL-TR-5787
Authors: Jason Alexander, Violeta Prieto, Christopher Rowlett, William Golding, and Patricia Lee
Date/Pages: September 2011; 28 pages
Abstract: Gyroscopes based on ultracold atom interferometry have the potential to exhibit an intrinsic sensitivity larger by a factor of 4 x 1010 than for light-based interferometers. One of the major technical challenges for the advancement of atom optics and development of practical guided matter wave interferometers is the realization of coherent beam splitters. The overall focus of our research program is to develop a physical understanding of the conditions needed for coherent beam splitting and transport and use this knowledge to implement atom chip based interferometers using clouds of ultracold atoms. In this report we describe our experimental apparatus in detail and discuss the current progress towards interferometric measurements with clouds of ultracold atoms in a chip-based magnetic waveguide.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2011