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Research Interests

Atom interferometers use the quantum mechanical wavelike properties of massive particles to make precise measurements of quantities such as accelerations and rotations, making them a valuable tool for a wide range of fundamental physics tests and practical applications.  In light-pulse atom interferometers, laser pulses act as the beam splitters and mirrors for the atomic wavefunction.  In our group, we use advanced atomic beam splitter and mirror techniques and ultracold atoms to implement atom interferometers with enhanced sensitivity.  We employ these interferometers to search for new physics beyond the Standard model and to realize improved quantum sensors.  One project aims to look for new particles, including light moduli associated with the compactified extra dimensions that arise in string theory, by searching for deviations from the gravitational inverse square law with increased sensitivity.  This experimental setup will also be used for a new measurement of Newton’s gravitational constant and for developing improved atomic gravitational sensors.  Additionally, I am a member of the Mid-band Atomic Gravitational Wave Interferometric Sensor (MAGIS) collaboration, which is working to develop the technology for an atom interferometric gravitational wave detector in a frequency band in between those addressed by the LIGO detector and the planned LISA detector.  In addition to its potential for new astrophysical and cosmological discoveries, this atom interferometric detector would be able to carry out highly sensitive dark matter searches.  I am also a member of the Northwestern Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Stanford University

… → 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Timothy Light Kovachy is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 5 Similar Profiles
atoms Physics & Astronomy
interferometers Physics & Astronomy
interferometry Physics & Astronomy
gravitational waves Physics & Astronomy
beam splitters Physics & Astronomy
atom optics Physics & Astronomy
sensors Physics & Astronomy
pulses Physics & Astronomy

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Grants 2019 2022

interferometers
sensors
atoms
sensitivity
free fall

Research Output 2010 2018

13 Citations (Scopus)

Effective Inertial Frame in an Atom Interferometric Test of the Equivalence Principle

Overstreet, C., Asenbaum, P., Kovachy, T. L., Notermans, R., Hogan, J. M. & Kasevich, M. A., May 4 2018, In : Physical review letters. 120, 18, 183604.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

equivalence
kinematics
atoms
gravitation
systematic errors
46 Citations (Scopus)

Phase Shift in an Atom Interferometer due to Spacetime Curvature across its Wave Function

Asenbaum, P., Overstreet, C., Kovachy, T. L., Brown, D. D., Hogan, J. M. & Kasevich, M. A., May 1 2017, In : Physical Review Letters. 118, 18, 183602.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

phase shift
interferometers
curvature
wave functions
atoms
3 Citations (Scopus)

Kovachy et al. reply

Kovachy, T., Asenbaum, P., Overstreet, C., Donnelly, C. A., Dickerson, S. M., Sugarbaker, A., Hogan, J. M. & Kasevich, M. A., Aug 31 2016, In : Nature. 537, 7618, p. E2-E3

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

55 Citations (Scopus)

Matter wave lensing to picokelvin temperatures

Kovachy, T. L., Hogan, J. M., Sugarbaker, A., Dickerson, S. M., Donnelly, C. A., Overstreet, C. & Kasevich, M. A., Apr 8 2015, In : Physical review letters. 114, 14, 143004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

atoms
magnetic lenses
temperature
quantum mechanics
interferometry
107 Citations (Scopus)

Quantum superposition at the half-metre scale

Kovachy, T., Asenbaum, P., Overstreet, C., Donnelly, C. A., Dickerson, S. M., Sugarbaker, A., Hogan, J. M. & Kasevich, M. A., Dec 23 2015, In : Nature. 528, 7583, p. 530-533 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Interferometry
Physics
Gravitation
Mechanics
Cats