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Logo: Institut für Quantenoptik/Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: Institut für Quantenoptik/Leibniz Universität Hannover
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VLBAI - Very Long Baseline Atom Interferometry

Very Long Baseline Atom Interferometry (VLBAI) represents a new class of experiments in atom optics with applications in high-accuracy absolute gravimetry, gravity-gradiometry and tests of fundamental physics. Extending the baseline of gravimeters from tens of centimeters to several meters opens the way for competition with state of the art superconducting gravimeters and quantum tests of the universality of free fall (UFF) at an unprecedented level, comparable to those achieved by classical lunar laser ranging and torsion balance tests. Also, the implementation of a gravity gradiometer in the vertical direction will complement the research eff ort done by the MIGA collaboration towards 3D gravity antennas and mapping of space-time strain in the low-frequency range. The VLBAI-Teststand (J. Hartwig et al., New J. Phys. 17, 035011 (2015)) will consist of a 10m-baseline atom interferometer implemented in the Hannover Institut fur Technologie (HITec) of the Leibniz Universität Hannover. For UFF tests, it will be operated as a dual-species, simultaneous gravimeter using ultracold mixtures of ytterbium and rubidium atoms. The choice of ytterbium is motivated by its high mass and the very small sensitivity of the ground states of the bosonic isotopes to magnetic fields, enabling better control of the systematics and constraining violation parameters. Also, the presence of a narrow clock transition gives the opportunity to investigate novel beam splitting techniques, e.g. for gravitational wave detection.

Our research is funded by two collaborative research centers, SFB 1128 geo-Q and SFB 1227 DQ-mat.

Research goals