Mini G: a simple, precise, and versatile atom interferometer

Gravimeters have been successfully applied for metrology, geology, and mineral exploration. Atomic gravimeters based on atom interferometry are more accurate and have better long-term stability. Compact and transpotable atom interferometers with the ability of multiaxis inertial sensing would open up applications in inertial navigation, such as aviation, robotic aircraft, and other emerging technologies. However, state-of-the-art atom interferometers are too complicated to operate in a miniature package.

In this project, we are developing a mobile atom interferometer using a single-diode laser system and a pyramidal magneto-optical trap. As our first demonstration of field operations, we drove the atom inteferometer around the Berkeley hills and measured local gravity. Our results show that one should feel lighter by 0.1‰, just driving from the foot to the peak of the hills.

We have more ideas about applying minig to geodesy, metrolgoy, or navigation. Come to visit us if you like doing physics in the sunset!

Team members

Xuejian Wu

Zachary Pagel

Bola Malek

Past Team menbers

Jordan Dubley

Philip Canoza

Fei Zi

Ryan J. Bilotta

Publications

  1. Multiaxis atom interferometry with a single-diode laser and a pyramidal magneto-optical trap. Xuejian Wu, Fei Zi, Jordan Dudley, Ryan J. Bilotta, Philip Canoza, and Holger Müller, Optica 4(12),1545-1551 (2017) and arXiv:1707.08693.