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Atoms 2016, 4(2), 14; doi:10.3390/atoms4020014

Atom Interferometry in the Presence of an External Test Mass

1
1849 S. Ocean Dr, Apt. 207, Hallandale, FL 33009, USA
2
Physics Division, Physical and Life Sciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
3
Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: A. Kumarakrishnan and Dallin S. Durfee
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atom Interferometry)
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Abstract

The influence of an external test mass on the phase of the signal of an atom interferometer is studied theoretically. Using traditional techniques in atom optics based on the density matrix equations in the Wigner representation, we are able to extract the various contributions to the phase of the signal associated with the classical motion of the atoms, the quantum correction to this motion resulting from atomic recoil that is produced when the atoms interact with Raman field pulses and quantum corrections to the atomic motion that occur in the time between the Raman field pulses. By increasing the effective wave vector associated with the Raman field pulses using modified field parameters, we can increase the sensitivity of the signal to the point where such quantum corrections can be measured. The expressions that are derived can be evaluated numerically to isolate the contribution to the signal from an external test mass. The regions of validity of the exact and approximate expressions are determined. View Full-Text
Keywords: atom interferometry; inhomogeneous gravitational fields; test mass; quantum phase corrections atom interferometry; inhomogeneous gravitational fields; test mass; quantum phase corrections
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dubetsky, B.; Libby, S.B.; Berman, P. Atom Interferometry in the Presence of an External Test Mass. Atoms 2016, 4, 14.

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