Pushing the limits of atom interferometry...The system we want to realize is a Mach-Zender spatial interferometer operating with trapped Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). Phase diffusion caused by interatomic collisions are suppressed implementing BECs with tunable interactions in ultra-stable optical potentials. Entangled states can be used to improve the sensitivity of the sensor beyond the standard quantum limit to ideally reach the ultimate, Heisenberg, limit set by quantum mechanics. Our project aims at developing a sensor with unprecedented spatial resolution able to compete with, and eventually overcome, state-of-the-art interferometers with cold (non condensed) atomic waves.

From attractive to repulsive interaction in a bosonic Josephson Junction

We explore the interplay between tunneling and interatomic interactions in the dynamics of a bosonic Josephson junction. We tune the scattering length of an atomic K39 Bose-Einstein condensate confined in a double-well trap to investigate regimes inaccessible to other superconducting or superfluid systems. In the limit of small-amplitude oscillations, we study the transition from Rabi to plasma oscillations by crossing over from attractive to repulsive interatomic interactions. We observe a critical slowing down in the oscillation frequency by increasing the strength of an attractive interaction up to the point of a quantum phase transition. With sufficiently large initial oscillation amplitude and repulsive interactions, the system enters the macroscopic quantum self-trapping regime, where we observe coherent undamped oscillations with a self-sustained average imbalance of the relative well population. The exquisite agreement between theory and experiments enables the observation of a broad range of many body coherent dynamical regimes driven by tunable tunneling energy, interactions and external forces, with applications spanning from atomtronics to quantum metrology.

G. Spagnolli, et al.,
Crossing Over from Attractive to Repulsive Interactions in a Tunneling Bosonic Josephson Junction
Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 230403 (2017)

K2 people

Leonardo Masi
PhD student
Giovanni Ferioli
PhD student
Giulia Semeghini
Postdoc
Giovanni Modugno
Scientific staff
Massimo Inguscio
Scientific staff
Marco Fattori
Scientific staff
Former members:
Simon Coop
Manuele Landini
Sanjukta Roy
Giacomo Spagnolli
Andreas Trenkwalder

K2 contacts

For further information, request of material, job opportunities, please contact:

Marco Fattori
(fattori@lens.unifi.it)

K2 funding

ERC StG AISENS
EU FP7 QIBEC
FIRB Futuro in Ricerca
2010 RBFR08H058_001
INFN Progetto Premiale
Atom Interferometer