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!
Past Team menbers
Ryan J. Bilotta