Physics at Virginia

"Rotation sensing with an atom-interferometer gyroscope"

Professor Cass Sackett , University of Virginia - Department of Physics
[Host: Gordon Cates]

Precision rotation sensing is useful for navigation, geophysics, and tests of fundamental physics. Atom interferometers provide, by some measures, the most sensitive method for rotation sensing achieved to date. However, the best performance requires freely falling atoms in a large experimental apparatus. Many applications, such as navigating a vehicle, will benefit from a more compact geometry. One method to achieve this is by using trapped atoms that are suspended against gravity. We have implemented such an interferometer and used it to measure a rotation rate comparable to that of the Earth. The most recent iteration of the interferometer has demonstrated improvements by a factor of ten in rotation sensitivity and trap stability. A second new apparatus reduces the scale of the vacuum chamber and optical system to roughly the size of a microwave oven.

Friday, October 1, 2021
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special room.

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