Rabi interferometry and sensitive measurement of the Casimir-Polder force with ultracold gases

Year: 2010

Authors: Chwedeńczuk J., Pezzé L., Piazza F., Smerzi A.

Autors Affiliation: BEC-CNR-INFM and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, I-38050 Povo, Italy;
Laboratoire Charles Fabry de l’Institut d’Optique, CNRS and Univ. Paris-Sud, Campus Polytechnique, RD 128, F-91127 Palaiseau cedex, France

Abstract: We show that Rabi oscillations of a degenerate fermionic or bosonic gas trapped in a double-well potential can be exploited for the interferometric measurement of external forces at micrometer length scales. The Rabi interferometer is less sensitive but easier to implement than the Mach-Zehnder, since it does not require dynamical beam-splitting or recombination processes. As an application we propose a measurement of the Casimir-Polder force acting between the atoms and a dielectric surface. We find that even if the interferometer is fed with a coherent state of relatively small number of atoms, and in the presence of realistic experimental noise, the force might be measured with a sensitivity sufficient to discriminate between thermal and zero-temperature regimes of the Casimir-Polder potential. Higher sensitivities can be reached with bosonic spin squeezed states.

Journal/Review: PHYSICAL REVIEW A

Volume: 82 (3)      Pages from: 032104  to: 032104

KeyWords: bose eistein condensation; quantum interferometry;
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.82.032104

Citations: 15
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