Measuring inertial forces with ultracold neutral atoms
The spin degrees of freedom of ultracold neutral atoms in their ground electronic states provide a natural platform for precision metrology of inertial forces. Given their long coherence times, weak interactions with laboratory environments, and our ability to control them with magneto-optical fields, numerous experiments have shown record-breaking advances in both applied and scientific pursuits. Beyond this, the recent introduction of strong, entangling interactions via Rydberg states, offers the allure of creating optimal quantum states for metrology and quantum information processing. A central thrust of our research is developing atom interferometer techniques for applications, wherein we have investigated a simplified atom interferometer using a warm vapor, a high-data rate technique for dynamic scenarios, and a single atom force sensor. Concurrently, we have developed a Rydberg-dressed interaction between the spins of individually trapped cesium atoms, which has the advantage of being both tunable and strong, with demonstrated energy shifts of order 1 MHz in units of Planck's constant. We employ this interaction to produce entanglement between neutral atoms and investigate the potential of this technique for high-fidelity quantum control.
This work was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program at Sandia National Laboratories