Detection of applied and ambient forces with a matter-wave magnetic gradiometer

Robertson, Billy I. and MacKellar, Andrew R. and Halket, James and Gribbon, Anna and Pritchard, Jonathan D. and Arnold, Aidan S. and Riis, Erling and Griffin, Paul F. (2017) Detection of applied and ambient forces with a matter-wave magnetic gradiometer. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 96 (5). 053622. ISSN 2469-9934 (

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An atom interferometer using a Bose–Einstein condensate of 87Rb atoms is utilized for the measurement of magnetic-field gradients. Composite optical pulses are used to construct a spatially symmetric Mach–Zehnder geometry. By using a biased interferometer we demonstrate the ability to measure small residual forces in our system and discriminate between magnetic and inertial effects. These are a residual ambient magnetic-field gradient of 15±2 mG/cm and an inertial acceleration of 0.08±0.02 m/s2. Our method has important applications in the calibration of precision measurement devices and the reduction of systematic errors.


Robertson, Billy I. ORCID logoORCID:, MacKellar, Andrew R. ORCID logoORCID:, Halket, James ORCID logoORCID:, Gribbon, Anna, Pritchard, Jonathan D. ORCID logoORCID:, Arnold, Aidan S. ORCID logoORCID:, Riis, Erling ORCID logoORCID: and Griffin, Paul F. ORCID logoORCID:;