Abstract

I describe the construction of a calcium matter-wave interferometer. The interferometer is based on a Ramsey-Borde scheme, and uses a thermal beam of atoms excited by an optical-frequency transition in calcium. In our experiment four pi/2 pulses of light are delivered to the atoms, which split and recombine the wave functions of the atoms. Our experimental design minimizes first-order Doppler shifts, and allows for the cancellation of systematic errors including phase shifts due to rotation and acceleration. I describe the individual components of the interferometer and its assembly. The requirements for the electronics used in the experiment as well as their design and performance are described in great detail. I also give an overview of the techniques used to passively stabilize the laser and optical components. Finally, I report on the current status of the experiment as well as detail future work to be done on the apparatus.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2007-11-28

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd2162

Keywords

interferometer, precision measurement, metrology, atomic clock, stable laser, low-noise electronics, surface mount soldering, thermal beam

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