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Fundamental physics with atom interferometry



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Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
PIRSA Number: 
14060016

Abstract

Precision atom interferometry is poised to become a powerful tool for discovery in fundamental physics. Towards this end, I will describe recent, record-breaking atom interferometry experiments performed in a 10 meter drop tower that demonstrate long-lived quantum superposition states with macroscopic spatial separations. The potential of this type of sensor is only beginning to be realized, and the ongoing march toward higher sensitivity will enable a diverse science impact, including new limits on the equivalence principle, probes of quantum mechanics, and detection of gravitational waves. Gravitational wave astronomy is particularly compelling since it opens up a new window into the universe, collecting information about astrophysical systems and cosmology that is difficult or impossible to acquire by other methods. Atom interferometric gravitational wave detection offers a number of advantages over traditional approaches, including simplified detector geometries, access to conventionally inaccessible frequency ranges, and substantially reduced antenna baselines.