Interféromètre à atomes froids de 39K et 87Rb pour tester le principe d'équivalence en micropesanteur

Abstract : During the last two decades, new techniques to cool and manipulate atoms have enabled the development of inertial sensors based on atom interferometry. In this context, the ICE project is based on a compact and transportable dual-species atom interferometer in order to verify the weak equivalence principle (WEP). Thus, we compare the acceleration of two chemical species and verify their equality by measuring the Eötvös parameter at the 10-6 level.This experiment was performed both in the laboratory and in the microgravity environment during parabolic flights onboard the Novespace ZERO-G aircraft. The interferometer is composed of laser-cooled samples of 87Rb and 39K, which exhibit similar transition wavelengths (780 nm and 767 nm) derived from frequency-doubled telecom lasers. Recently, we have performed the first dual species interferometer in microgravity. This enables the first test of the WEP in weightlessness using quantum objects, which represents a major first step toward future mission in space.As part of these experiments, we have implemented a 770 nm laser source, resonant with the D1 transition of 39K, in order to perform a gray molasses cooling. We have also devised a new sequence to prepare atoms in the mF = 0 state with a transfer efficiency above 90%. These techniques improved the contrast of our 39K interferometer by a factor 4, which led to the obtention of a sensitivity on the Eötvös parameter in the laboratory of 5 x 10-8 after 5000 s of integration.
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Laura Antoni-Micollier. Interféromètre à atomes froids de 39K et 87Rb pour tester le principe d'équivalence en micropesanteur. Autre [cond-mat.other]. Université de Bordeaux, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016BORD0175⟩. ⟨tel-01431020⟩

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