Construction of a portable platform for cold atom interferometry

Malcolm, Jonathan Ian (2016). Construction of a portable platform for cold atom interferometry. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis details the construction of a portable platform for cold atom experiments, as part of the European iSense project. This culminated in the demonstration of a working portable cold atom interferometer to the praise of the EC and reviewers during the final project meeting. Reductions in the size, weight and power consumption of all the crucial components for a cold atom system such as lasers, optics, magnetic field generation and electronics have been realised. These novel components have been integrated into a portable device that has been transported and operated by just two people. The completed device weighs 63 kg and uses 240 W power in a volume of just 61.1 litres. The system has generated a cloud of (6.7±0.7)x 10\(^6\) rubidium-87 atoms at a temperature of 4.4 μK in 2 seconds using a mirror-MOT setup. The device has successfully performed atom interferometry in the form of a Ramsey interferometer both at the University of Birmingham, UK and also at an office in Brussels, BE after a journey of 570 km. A measurement of the hyperfine splitting of the ground state of rubidium-87 was performed and gives an uncertainty of \(\delta\)\(\omega\)/\(\omega\) = 5.2 × 10\(^-\)\(^7\). The theoretical limit of the sensitivity to gravity of the iSense system is 3.9 μGal/√Hz.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics


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