Wisconsin Quantum Institute

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Exploring quantum gases for space-borne and terrestrial interferometry
Date: Tuesday, May 17th
Time: 10:00 am
Place: for full info:
Speaker: Ernst Maria Rasel, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany
Abstract: Ultra-cold quantum gases in space promise to boost the sensitivity of inertial matter-wave interferometers, on ground they promise better accuracies. Applications of these sensors extend from fundamental physics over the use in navigation to interdisciplinary applications such as geodesy, e.g. satellite gravimetry. Exploiting quantum gases for high-precision interferometry places high demands on their control and manipulation. We take benefit of various microgravity platforms such as the Bremen drop tower, the Einstein elevator in Hannover, sounding rockets, and the international space station to advance the necessary methods. The DLR-mission MAIUS-1 demonstrated Bose-Einstein condensation and performed first interferometry experiments during the space travel of a sounding rocket. NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory continues this research in orbit on the ISS.
Starting from a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate, recently lowest expansion energies have been achieved by us in the Bremen drop tower as required for extending atom interferometry over several seconds. Exploring these methods to quantum mixtures not only opens up new physics in the absence of buoyancy, but also adds challenges for exploiting these mixtures for interferometry. Interferometers based on two different chemical elements have been proposed for quantum tests of the equivalence principle on the ISS as well as on satellites. Currently, we prepare a sounding rocket mission to investigate the simultaneous generation and manipulation of potassium and rubidium condensates. Together with CAL, these experiments will prepare the DLR-NASA multi-user facility BECCAL for research on quantum gas mixtures and interferometry as well as enhance the readiness level of methods required for STE-QUEST, a proposal for a satellite mission currently studied within ESA’s VOYAGE 2050 program.
Host: PME/UChicago
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