A Cylindrically Symmetric, Magnetic Trap for Bose-Einstein Condensate Atom Interferometry Applications

Horne, Robert, Physics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Sackett, Charles, Department of Physics, University of Virginia

This dissertation documents a second Bose-Einstein Condensate production apparatus at the University of Virginia. The apparatus produces condensates of 87Rb atoms to be used as the wave source for atom interferometry experiments. Additionally, a new magnetic trap was developed which provides a harmonic potential with cylindrical symmetry and also supports the atoms against gravity. This trap is based on a time-orbiting potential. To characterize the trapping potential, a condensate was loaded into the trap and perturbed by suddenly changing the confinement field during loading. This had the effect of inducing harmonic oscillations which were measured at varying trap parameters. We expect that this trap will be useful for the implementation of a compact atom interferometer-based gyroscope. Finally, an asymmetric Bragg splitting pulse was developed which allowed for the implementation of two simple interferometers. These interferometers developed a phase which depended on the recoil frequency of 87Rb and served as a proof of principle for this new apparatus.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
atom, interferometry, Bose-Einstein Condensate, magnetic, trap
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