Precision Interferometry with Bose-Einstein Condensates
Jamison, Alan Owen
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation describes the creation of the first matter-wave interferometer using ytterbium (Yb) atoms. Most of the experiments focus on a contrast interferometer geometry with a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) as source. The recoil frequency of the 174-Yb atom is measured with this interferometer. The recoil frequency of an atom is part of a set of precision measurements that together give a value for the fine structure constant. The experimental results of this dissertation lay the groundwork for a future sub part-per-billion (ppb) precision measurement of the Yb recoil frequency. The contrast interferometry technique is extended to substantially longer times scales than those achieved in previous experiments. A measurement at the ~10 parts-per-million level is made. Systematic effects and statistical scaling are studied and found to be compatible with the desired sub-ppb precision for a future measurement. Such a measurement requires a detailed theoretical study of possible systematic shifts to the measured value. A substantial portion of this dissertation consists of this analysis, carried out in sufficient generality as to guide future sub-ppb level measurements. In addition to a large number of possible systematic shifts due to well-understood physics, two more complex effects are identified and studied: Diffraction phases and atom-atom interactions.
- Physics