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Claude Cohen Tannoudji

Prix Nobel en 1997 pour le ralentissement et le piégeage des atomes par la lumière laser.

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Accueil du site > Thèses et habilitations > Airborne matter-wave inertial sensor

Airborne matter-wave inertial sensor

Thesis defense of Remi Geiger

On Monday, 17th of October 2011 at 14:30 in the auditorium of Institut d’Optique, 2 avenue Augustin Fresnel, Palaiseau.

Abstract :

This thesis reports the study of a matter-wave accelerometer operated aboard a 0-g plane in ballistic flights. The acceleration measurements are performed with a cold atom inter- ferometer using stimulated Raman transitions to manipulate the quantum states of the atoms. When designing the instrument, we took special care to make the laser source transportable, robust, and stable.
With our setup, we demonstrate the first operation of a matter-wave inertial sensor aboard a plane, both in 0-g and during the gravity phases of the flights (1-g). Thanks to additional mechanical accelerometers probing the coarse inertial effects, we are able to detect acceleration fluctuations much greater than the intrinsic measurement range of the interferometer. We explain our method to benefit from the full sensitivity of the matter-wave sensor in the plane, and suggest significant improvements of our system for the future. In 0-g, we show the enhancement of the accelerometer sensitivity up to 2 × 10−4 m.s−2 in one second, and investigate a rejection of the vibrations of the plane with a four Raman pulses interferometer.
The goal of our project is to perform a test of the universality of free fall with two atom accelerometers using 87Rb and 39K. The laser system for the two-species interferometer is based on fiber optical components at wavelengths of 1.56 and 1.54 μm, and optical frequency doubling to generate the useful light at 780 and 767 nm to cool and manipulate the atoms. We study theoretically the sensitivity of the differential acceleration measurement by taking into account the vibrations of the plane, and discuss how a resolution of the order of 10−10 m.s−2 could be achieved in the future with our airborne experiment.

Jury :

  • Christophe Salomon (referee)
  • Ernst Rasel (referee)
  • Serge Reynaud (examiner)
  • Linda Mondin (examiner)
  • Pierre Pillet (examiner)
  • Philippe Bouyer (supervisor)
  • Arnaud Landragin (supervisor)
  • Alain Aspect (invited)

The defense of my PhD was conducted at Institut d’Optique under supervision of Philippe Bouyer and Arnaud Landragin.

Voir en ligne : Remi Geiger’homepage

Post-scriptum :

Laboratoire Charles Fabry - Groupe d’Optique Atomique
Institut d’Optique
Campus Polytechnique, RD 128
F-91127 Palaiseau

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