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Physics Seminar - Dr Ana Rakonjac

Monday, 18 December 2017

Physics Department

Dr Ana Rakonjac

Research Associate

Department of Physics

Durham University


Performing interferometry with atoms instead of light holds great promise as the basis for a new generation of sensors. Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are excellent candidates for atom interferometry due to their wave-like nature, superfluid properties, and the ability to manipulate them coherently. Many interferometry protocols have been proposed theoretically, and there is presently much experimental effort in implementing novel interferometry schemes, as well as miniaturising atom interferometers for practical use as sensing devices. One such scheme makes use of bright solitary matter waves, or solitons, formed by manipulating interatomic interactions in BECs to create long-lived compact matter wavepackets. Solitons can propagate macroscopic distances without dispersion, making them ideal candidates for use in a number of interferometer geometries. A crucial component of any interferometer is a coherent beam splitter. For solitons, a beam splitter can be formed by a narrow repulsive barrier, where a soliton incident on the barrier is split into two. After allowing the two daughter solitons to oscillate in a weak harmonic potential, the solitons "recombine" on the same barrier. In the appropriate regime, the recombination is coherent, with any phase accumulation along one path resulting in a population difference in each path after recombination. In practice, there are other factors that influence the outcome. In my talk, I will discuss our efforts to implement a proof-of-principle atom interferometer using bright solitary matter waves and the experimental challenges involved.

WHEN: Monday 18 December 2017
WHERE: Room 314, Science 3 Building
TIME: 3.00 pm–4.00 pm

All interested are welcome to attend

Light refreshments to follow in Common Room