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.

Sensitivity bounds of a spatial Bloch-oscillations Atom Interferometer

We study the ultimate bounds on the sensitivity of a Bloch-oscillation atom interferometer where the external force is estimated from the measurement of the on-site atomic density. For external forces such that the energy difference between lattice sites is smaller than the tunneling energy, the atomic wave-function spreads over many lattice sites, increasing the separation between the occupied modes of the lattice and naturally enhancing the sensitivity of the interferometer. To investigate the applicability of this scheme we estimate the effect of uncontrolled fluctuations of the tunneling energy and the finite resolution of the atom detection. Our analysis shows that a horizontal lattice combined with a weak external force allow for high sensitivities. Therefore, this setup is a promising solution for compact devices or for measurements with high spatial resolution.

I. Nałȩcz, et al.,
Sensitivity bounds of a spatial Bloch-oscillation atom interferometer
Phys. Rev. A 102, 033318 (2020)

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