Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorAndersen, Mikkel
dc.contributor.advisorMeglinski, Igor
dc.contributor.authorMcDowall, Peter Digby
dc.identifier.citationMcDowall, P. D. (2014). Atom Interferometry Using Near Resonant Standing Waves of Light (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis details the experimental investigation of a new type of atom interferometer using rubidium-85 atoms in the unexplored near-resonant domain. A cold cloud of atoms, all prepared in the same hyperfine ground state, are subjected to temporally periodic pulses of near-resonant standing waves of light. The standing wave pulses are made to act like an absorption grating where only atoms located around the low intensity region about the nodes remain in the initial ground state, the rest are pumped into a dark hyperfine ground state. The output of the atom interferometer is a measure of the fraction of atoms remaining in the initial ground state after N standing wave pulses for different times between the pulses. An increased survival rate is observed for certain times between pulses due to the occurrence of a coherence echo and the matter wave Talbot effect. This feature allows us to use our atom interferometer to make measurements of the Talbot time which is an important parameter in determinations of the fine structure constant alpha. We provide a theoretical model to describe the relevant physics behind our atom interferometer that compares well with our empirical results. Design and implementation of the apparatus are discussed along with characterisation of parameters such as pulse duration, pulse number, and frequency. Finally we include a demonstration of how, in principle, our atom interferometer could be used to make precision measurements of the Talbot time along with some of the necessary steps to bring it in line with current leading measurements.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectAtom interferometry
dc.subjectPrecision measurement
dc.subjectTalbot effect
dc.titleAtom Interferometry Using Near Resonant Standing Waves of Light
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
 Find in your library

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item is not available in full-text via OUR Archive.

If you are the author of this item, please contact us if you wish to discuss making the full text publicly available.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record