Colloquium Series

Time: Thursday 13 August 2015 – 1:00pm
Place: New Horizons (Building 82), Theatre G29 (map)

Precision measurement with Bose-condensed atoms

Associate Professor Nick Robins, Australian National University

Sensors based around directly measuring the response of atoms to external fields stand out as our most precise and accurate tools. The most accurate clocks, magnetometers and accelerometers fall into this category. Traditionally, a source of thermal atoms have been used as the system on which these measurements are made. These thermal atoms could be at 300K, in a vapour cell, or 10 microKelvin in an optical molasses. These thermal systems are characterised by a gaussian momentum distribution and a small spatial coherence (set by the de Broglie wavelength). Our team at ANU has spent 15 years investigating and developing a fundamentally different source for precision measurement applications: the atom laser, the atomic equivalent of an optical laser beam.

I'll walk you through the highlights of this development, culminating in our most recent results on state-of-the-art Gravimetry with a Bose-Einstein condensate.

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