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Title: The development of a light pulse atom interferometer towards a parameter search of the dark contents of the vacuum
Author: Burrow, O. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 9590
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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A parameter space search for dark contents of the vacuum utilising atom interferometry is motivated. This methodology is potentially sensitive to any dark contents of the vacuum that are spatially inhomogeneous on the lab scale, and couple to atoms in addition to the gravitational force. A path integral approach to atom interferometry is discussed and a parametrisation of the dark contents of the vacuum is presented. A magneto-optical trap is detailed, capable of trapping 6.5x10^7 atoms, as a cold atomic source for the atom interferometer. The development of a prototype light pulse Mach-Zehnder atom interferometer, currently in the commissioning stages is described, as well as a unique laser system capable of running the whole atom interferometer from just two extended cavity diode lasers. Using this device 1x10^6 atoms are trapped in a magneto-optical trap and further cooled to 96 μK in an optical molasses. This prototype device is now undergoing upgrades to create larger, colder sources of atoms for the interferometer.
Supervisor: Coleman, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral