Precision atomic gravimeter based on Bragg diffraction

P. A. Altin, M. T. Johnsson, V. Negnevitsky, G. R. Dennis, R. P. Anderson, J. E. Debs, S. S. Szigeti, K. S. Hardman, S. Bennetts, G. D. McDonald, L. D. Turner, J. D. Close, N. P. Robins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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We present a precision gravimeter based on coherent Bragg diffraction of freely falling cold atoms. Traditionally, atomic gravimeters have used stimulated Raman transitions to separate clouds in momentum space by driving transitions between two internal atomic states. Bragg interferometers utilize only a single internal state, and can therefore be less susceptible to environmental perturbations. Here we show that atoms extracted from a magneto-optical trap using an accelerating optical lattice are a suitable source for a Bragg atom interferometer, allowing efficient beamsplitting and subsequent separation of momentum states for detection. Despite the inherently multi-state nature of atom diffraction, we are able to build a Mach-Zehnder interferometer using Bragg scattering which achieves a sensitivity to the gravitational acceleration of Δg/g = 2.7 × 10-9 with an integration time of 1000 s. The device can also be converted to a gravity gradiometer by a simple modification of the light pulse sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023009
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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    Altin, P. A., Johnsson, M. T., Negnevitsky, V., Dennis, G. R., Anderson, R. P., Debs, J. E., ... Robins, N. P. (2013). Precision atomic gravimeter based on Bragg diffraction. New Journal of Physics, 15, 1-19. [023009].