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QUANTUS: Published - "A high-flux BEC source for mobile atom interferometers"

QUANTUS: Published - "A high-flux BEC source for mobile atom interferometers"

J. Rudolph et al., New J. Phys. 17, 065001 (2015)

Quantum sensors based on coherent matter-waves are precise measurement devices whose ultimate accuracy is achieved with Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) in extended free fall. This is ideally realized in microgravity environments such as drop towers, ballistic rockets and space platforms. However, the transition from lab-based BEC machines to robust and mobile sources with comparable performance is a challenging endeavor. Here we report on the realization of a miniaturized setup, generating a flux of 4 x 105 quantum degenerate 87Rb atoms every 1.6 s. Ensembles of 1 x 105 atoms can be produced at a 1 Hz rate. This is achieved by loading a cold atomic beam directly into a multi-layer atom chip that is designed for efficient transfer from laser-cooled to magnetically trapped clouds. The attained flux of degenerate atoms is on par with current lab-based BEC experiments while offering significantly higher repetition rates. Additionally, the flux is approaching those of current interferometers employing Raman-type velocity selection of laser-cooled atoms. The compact and robust design allows for mobile operation in a variety of demanding environments and paves the way for transportable high-precision quantum sensors.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/17/6/065001