Trapping versus dropping atoms expands 'interrogation' to 20 seconds

November 07, 2019

Trapped atoms, suspended aloft on a lattice of laser light for as long as 20 seconds, allow for highly sensitive measurements of gravity, according to a new study, which describes a new approach to atom interferometers. The new design greatly enhances the sensitivity and precision of gravitational measurements over previous iterations and could be used in tests of general relativity or other investigations into fundamental physics. Atom interferometry is a powerful technique that uses the quantum properties of exceedingly cold atoms to precisely measure various aspects of physics, such as inertia or gravity, or to search for new physical or atomic phenomena. Like Galileo's infamous experiment at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, gravimeters based on atom-interferometry can detect slight variations in gravitational fields by observing the behavior of 'dropped' atoms. However, the sensitivity and precision of gravitational measurements are largely dependent on the length of time a freely falling atom can be interrogated and the distance it falls, which until now has been limited to only 2.3 seconds in a span of 10 meters. Rather than dropping atoms like balls from a tower, Victoria Xu and colleagues describe a trapped atom interferometer capable of expanding the interrogation time to 20 seconds. Xu et al. use an optical lattice to control and suspend ultracold atoms in place, greatly increasing the ability to measure their behavior in a gravitational field and, by extension, the precision of the gravitational measurements. What's more, the results show a more than 10,000-fold suppression in the vibrational noise common to even the most state-of-the-art atomic gravimeters, drastically improving the signal to noise ratio of measurements. The authors show that the new design allows for highly sensitive and precise yet compact atomic setups.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Behavior Articles from Brightsurf:

Variety in the migratory behavior of blackcaps
The birds have variable migration strategies.

Fishing for a theory of emergent behavior
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba quantified the collective action of small schools of fish using information theory.

How synaptic changes translate to behavior changes
Learning changes behavior by altering many connections between brain cells in a variety of ways all at the same time, according to a study of sea slugs recently published in JNeurosci.

I won't have what he's having: The brain and socially motivated behavior
Monkeys devalue rewards when they anticipate that another monkey will get them instead.

Unlocking animal behavior through motion
Using physics to study different types of animal motion, such as burrowing worms or flying flocks, can reveal how animals behave in different settings.

AI to help monitor behavior
Algorithms based on artificial intelligence do better at supporting educational and clinical decision-making, according to a new study.

Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior
To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors.

Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface.

Spirituality affects the behavior of mortgagers
According to Olga Miroshnichenko, a Sc.D in Economics, and a Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance, Tyumen State University, morals affect the thinking of mortgage payers and help them avoid past due payments.

Asking if behavior can be changed on climate crisis
One of the more complex problems facing social psychologists today is whether any intervention can move people to change their behavior about climate change and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations.

Read More: Behavior News and Behavior Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to