Limitations on maximum achievable enhancement in sensitivity using large momentum transfer for point source atom interferometry

Jinyang Li, Gregorio R.M. Da Silva, Wayne C. Huang, Mohamed Fouda, Jason Bonacum, Timothy Kovachy, Selim M. Shahriar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A point source interferometer (PSI) is a device where atoms are split and recombined by applying a temporal sequence of Raman pulses. During the pulse sequence, an initially trapped cloud of cold atoms is released and allowed to expand, 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 rotations is proportional to the momentum transferred to each atom from the Raman pulses. Therefore, by increasing the momentum transfer, it should be possibly 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. Contrary to typical approaches used for describing a PSI, we employ a model under which the motion of the center of mass of each atom is described quantum mechanically. We show how increasing Doppler shifts lead to imperfections, thereby limiting the visibility of the signal fringes, and identify ways to suppress this effect by increasing the effective, two-photon Rabi frequencies of the Raman pulses. Considering the effect of spontaneous emission, we show that for a given value of the one-photon Rabi frequency, there is an optimum value for the number of pulses employed, beyond which the net enhancement in sensitivity begins to decrease. For a one-photon Rabi frequency of 200 MHz, for example, the peak value of the factor of enhancement in sensitivity is ∼39, for a momentum transfer that is ∼69 times as large as that for a conventional PSI. We also find that this peak value scales as the one-photon Rabi frequency to the power of 4/5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical and Quantum Sensing and Precision Metrology
EditorsSelim M. Shahriar, Jacob Scheuer
ISBN (Electronic)9781510642355
StatePublished - 2021
EventOptical and Quantum Sensing and Precision Metrology 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Mar 6 2021Mar 11 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptical and Quantum Sensing and Precision Metrology 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Limitations on maximum achievable enhancement in sensitivity using large momentum transfer for point source atom interferometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this