Cavity Interferometry
Atom interferometers manipulate matter waves with laser pulses. Use of a pristine laser beam for these pulses should allow for new capabilities, expanding measurement possibilities. The cavity interferometer experiment pursues these goals, using an optical cavity to deliver interferometry beams to the atoms. Our apparatus is the world’s first, and thus far only, cavity atom interferometer.

We’ve used this device to measure forces acting on atoms. These include the gravitational pull of a miniature source mass, and the first measurement of a novel force mediated by blackbody radiation. We have also constrained dark energy candidates (first and second measurements) by excluding anomalous forces.

We are now working to utilize the cavity to extend the technical reach of atom interferometers. Long hold times in an optical lattice, large momentum separation, and many-pulse geometries are examples of matter wave manipulations enabled by the optical cavity’s high beam quality. Such capabilities should lead to ambitious new measurements with matter waves.