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Habilitation à diriger des recherches

INTERFÉROMÉTRIE ATOMIQUE : Construction, caractérisation et optimisation d'un interféromètre Application aux mesures de précision

Matthias Büchner 1
1 Interférométrie (LCAR)
LCAR - Laboratoire Collisions Agrégats Réactivité
Abstract : This manuscript describes my research activity in atom interferometry. As an introduction to this domain, we have first described some atom interferometers and their applications. We then describe the atom interferometer we have developed in Toulouse. This is a Mach-Zehnder atom interferometer; the atom source is a thermal supersonic lithium beam and atom manipulation is based on laser diffraction in the Bragg regime. This two intererometer arms are spatially separated, with a maximum distance near 100 ¹m. The interferometer performances are excellent, with a fringe visibility as large as 84.5 % and a high output flux, thus providing a phase sensitivity of 15 mrad p Hz. We have used this interferometer for several experiments, with a pertubation applied on only one interferometer arm. When the perturbation is an electric field, we thus measure the electric polarisability of lithium, with an uncertainty 3 times smaller than the best previous measurement. When the perturbation is a gas at low density, we measure the complex refraction index of this gas for lithium atomic waves. If the perturbation is a nanograting, we measure the complex amplitude of the diffraction zeroth order and this amplitude is very sensitive to the van der Waals interaction of the lithium atom with the nanograting surface. An important part of this manuscrit concernes further developments of our activity. We discuss several improvements of the measurement of the electric polarizability of lithium atom and we hope to access to a precision comparable to the one of the best ab initio calculations of this quantity. We plan to detect a new topological phase, predicted by theory in 1993 but never observed. Finally, we are starting the construction of a second generation atom interferometer, with a slow and intense lithium beam. This new source will give a larger signal and a longer interaction time, thus enabling the detection of considerably weaker perturbations: a fascinating possibility of this new atom interferometer is the test of the electric neutrality of atoms with a considerably improved sensitivity.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Contributor : Matthias Büchner <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 9, 2011 - 5:01:39 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 28, 2020 - 1:52:03 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00591634, version 1


Matthias Büchner. INTERFÉROMÉTRIE ATOMIQUE : Construction, caractérisation et optimisation d'un interféromètre Application aux mesures de précision. Physique Atomique [physics.atom-ph]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2010. ⟨tel-00591634⟩



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