Atom interferometry seems like a natural application of Bose-Einstein
condensates, given their highly coherent nature. In particular,
condensate interferometry is relatively easy to implement using atoms
confined in a guiding potential. This can permit longer interaction
times and more complex interferometer geometries than can be achieved
in a free-space atom interferometer. However, condensate
interferometry has challenges as well, such as the effects of atomic
interactions and the need to avoid noise from the confining potential.
I will discuss our own experimental achievements to date, what they
have taught us, and some future plans.
Cass Sackett was an undergraduate at Harvey Mudd College and obtained
his PhD from Rice University in 1998, where he worked on one of the
first experiments to produce Bose-Einstein condensation. After two
years as a post-doc with the NIST Ion Storage Group in Boulder, CO, he
moved to the University of Virginia and established a research group
pursuing the application of Bose condensates to atom interferometry.
His work has been recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Research
Fellowship and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program