Time-Domain Interferometry with Laser-Cooled Atoms

B. Barrett, I. Chan, C. Mok, A. Carew, I. Yavin, A. Kumarakrishnan, S. B. Cahn, T. Sleator

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    A single-state grating echo interferometer offers unique advantages for time-domain studies of light-matter interactions using laser-cooled atoms, including applications that involve precision measurements of atomic recoil, rotation, and gravitational acceleration. To illustrate the underlying physics, we first discuss the output signal of the interferometer in the absence of spontaneous emission. The influence of spontaneous emission, magnetic sublevels, and the spatial profile of excitations beams on matter wave interference in a two-pulse interferometer is described, followed by a discussion of transit time limited experiments using a multipulse technique that offers several advantages. We also examine the enhancement in signal size achieved by a lattice interferometer. The sensitivity of the interferometer to magnetic gradients and gravitational acceleration is discussed along with extensions to frequency-domain studies of atomic recoil and rotation. Applications of coherent transient effects and echo techniques associated with internal state labeled interferometers that utilize magnetic sublevels of a single hyperfine state are considered for precise measurements of magnetic interactions such as atomic g-factor ratios. The article concludes with an overview of the suitability of the traditional two-pulse photon echo technique for measurements of atomic lifetimes and studies of superradiant emission in laser-cooled samples.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
    PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
    Number of pages81
    StatePublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
    ISSN (Print)1049-250X


    • Laser-cooled systems
    • Matter waves
    • Raman-Nath Condition
    • Standing-wave pulse
    • Traveling-wave pulse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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  • Cite this

    Barrett, B., Chan, I., Mok, C., Carew, A., Yavin, I., Kumarakrishnan, A., Cahn, S. B., & Sleator, T. (2011). Time-Domain Interferometry with Laser-Cooled Atoms. In Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (pp. 119-199). (Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Vol. 60). Academic Press Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385508-4.00003-6