atom interferometer


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atom interferometer

[‚ad·əm ‚in·tə·fə′räm·əd·ər]
(physics)
A device which measures the interference effects that result when a beam of atoms is manipulated in such a way that the de Broglie waves of the atoms are split into two components and subsequently recombined.
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The team used an atom interferometer to test whether there were any extra forces that could be the fifth force acting on an atom.
'When the atoms are ultra-cold we have to use quantum mechanics to describe how they move, and this allows us to make what we call an atom interferometer,' explained Dr Joseph Cotter, also of the Centre for Cold Matter at Imperial College London.
Furthermore, the g value of Florence was measured in situ with the Atom Interferometer by the group of Tino [5, 6].
He and his group also developed a new atom interferometer that exceeded the accuracy of the most accurate commercial inertial sensors.
Now, a new experiment in an atom interferometer measures this slowdown 10,000 times more accurately than before, and finds it to be exactly what Einstein predicted.
Physicists are even rallying to put an atom interferometer in orbit to test theories like Einstein's general relativity with unparalleled exactness.
Context:Back in 1991 the first successful realisation of an atom interferometer for measuring gravitational forces was built by Mark Kasevich and Steven Chu 1,2 .
Because the atoms move much more slowly than photons, an atom interferometer of the same dimensions as one based on a light laser has the potential to be 10 billion times more sensitive in measurements of the rotation of Earth or other objects, scientists say.
In an atom interferometer, for example, "each atom has been split and is going both ways at once," explains David E.
Described in Applied Physics Letters, the NIST gyro is an atom interferometer. It is based on an expanding cloud of laser-cooled atoms, a technique originally demonstrated at Stanford University in a 10-meter-high fountain of atoms.
Atom interferometers are at the heart of many quantum technologies, enabling high precision measurements of influences on clouds of cold atoms, such as motion, gravity, time, magnetic and electric fields.
It is this unique property that scientists use to create extremely sensitive atom interferometers, which contain a cloud of BEC suspended in a chamber.