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Atoms 2016, 4(2), 18; doi:10.3390/atoms4020018

A Wigner Function Approach to Coherence in a Talbot-Lau Interferometer

1
Space Dynamics Laboratory, Utah State University Research Foundation, North Logan, UT 84341, USA
2
Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM 87117, USA
3
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM 87117, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: A. Kumarakrishnan and Dallin S. Durfee
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atom Interferometry)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [312 KB, uploaded 22 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Using a thermal gas, we model the signal of a trapped interferometer. This interferometer uses two short laser pulses, separated by time T, which act as a phase grating for the matter waves. Near time 2 T , there is an echo in the cloud’s density due to the Talbot-Lau effect. Our model uses the Wigner function approach and includes a weak residual harmonic trap. The analysis shows that the residual potential limits the interferometer’s visibility, shifts the echo time of the interferometer, and alters its time dependence. Loss of visibility can be mitigated by optimizing the initial trap frequency just before the interferometer cycle begins. View Full-Text
Keywords: trapped atom interferometry; Wigner function; Talbot-Lau interferometer; coherence time trapped atom interferometry; Wigner function; Talbot-Lau interferometer; coherence time
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Imhof, E.; Stickney, J.; Squires, M. A Wigner Function Approach to Coherence in a Talbot-Lau Interferometer. Atoms 2016, 4, 18.

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