Speaker: Jonathan Pritchard, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Abstract: Atom interferometry offers a number advantages to the field of precision metrology overt over optical interferometers due to the sensitivity of atoms to external electromagnetic fields and inertial forces. Utilising a circular waveguide has the further benefit of providing a strong common-mode rejection between paths and rotational sensitivity via the Sagnac effect, whilst also permitting longer interaction times compared to optical sensors. We present the first demonstration of a novel inductively coupled ring trap for cold atoms to create a circular waveguide of radius 5 mm. A uniform, ac magnetic field induces current in a copper ring, which creates an opposing magnetic field that is time-averaged to produce a smooth cylindrically symmetric ring trap. This resolves the issue of perturbations due to electrical connections and benefits from averaging out corrugation of the potential due to current meandering. A laser-cooled atomic sample is used to characterise the loading efficiency and adiabaticity of the magnetic potential, achieving a vacuum-limited lifetime in the trap. This technique is suitable for creating scalable toroidal waveguides for applications in matterwave interferometry, with a large enclosed area and long interaction times. Development of a second generation apparatus to utilise the ac ring trap for Sagnac interferometry with Bose (87Rb) and Fermi (40K) quantum degenerate gases is described.