Group Seminar at MPQ and via Zoom: Cold atoms and an atom interferometry experiment for fundamental physics

June 09, 2022

Brian Bostwick, University of Cambridge Cavendish Lab
Group Seminar in MPQ temporary lecture hall & via video conference (Zoom)
Thursday, June 9, 9.00 am (MEZ)


Atom interferometry (AI) has become a powerful experimental physics technique for high precision measurement. I will introduce the Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network (AION) experiment underconstruction in the United Kingdom (UK) and speak about my master’s thesis in the Many-Body Quantum dynamics group at the University of Cambridge. AION is a large collaboration with six other UK institutions with the goal to measure such phenomena as gravitational waves and search the parameter space of ultra-light dark matter. We use a single photon clock transition in Strontium for our atom interferometric sequence. Using a differential measurement between two atom interferometers makes it possible to be sensitive to time-varying signals, such as gravitation waves, AION will be sensitive to mid-range frequencies from 0.001 Hz to a few Hz, a currently unexplored region of the gravitational wave spectrum. Each institution will be focusing on optimizing a different aspect of the AION. At the University of Cambridge, we are focusing on optimizing the cooling, optical transport, atom optics and imaging stages. Through understanding the various aspects of the cooling process, we will be maintaining large atom populations while minimizing the temperatures. I have been simulating the cooling AtomECS, a cold atom software package being created at Cambridge and the University of Oxford. By using this software, we can reduce the experimental parameter space and further optimize our systems. Finally, I will be giving an overview personal contribution to the project through evaporative simulation and laboratory work.


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