We demonstrate an atomic interferometer based on ultra-cold atoms released from an optical lattice. This technique yields a large improvement in signal to noise over a related interferometer previously demonstrated. The interferometer involves diffraction of the atoms using a pulsed optical lattice. For short pulses a simple analytical theory predicts the expected signal. We investigate the interferometer for both short pulses and longer pulses where the analytical theory break down. Longer pulses can improve the precision and signal size. For specific pulse lengths we observe a coherent signal at times that differs greatly from what is expected from the short pulse model. The interferometric signal also reveals information about the dynamics of the atoms in the lattice. We investigate the application of the interferometer for a measurement of h/mA that together with other well known constants constitutes a measurement of the fine structure constant.
Citation: Physical Review Letters
Pub Type: Journals
atomic interferometry, atomic recoil, fine structure, optical lattice, Talbot time