A point source interferometer (PSI) is a device where atoms are split and recombined by applying a temporal sequence of Raman pulses during the expansion of a cloud of cold atoms behaving approximately as a point source. The PSI can work as a sensitive multi-axes gyroscope that can automatically filter out the signal from accelerations. The phase shift arising from the rotations is proportional to the momentum transferred to each atom from the Raman pulses. Therefore, by increasing the momentum transfer, it should be possible to enhance the sensitivity of the PSI. Here, we investigate the degree of enhancement in sensitivity that could be achieved by augmenting the PSI with large momentum transfer (LMT) employing a sequence of many Raman pulses with alternating directions. We analyze how factors such as Doppler detuning, spontaneous emission, and the finite initial size of the atomic cloud compromise the advantage of LMT and how to find the optimal momentum transfer under these limitations, with both the semi-classical model and a model under which the motion of the center of mass of each atom is described quantum mechanically. We identify a set of realistic parameters for which LMT can improve the PSI by a factor of nearly 40.
- Atom interferometry
- Point source atom interferometer
- Quantum gyroscope
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics