Development of a transportable atom interferometer operating as inertial and gravity sensor
Giorgini, Antonio (2009) Development of a transportable atom interferometer operating as inertial and gravity sensor. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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Atom Interferometry methods open new prospectives for absolute acceleration measurements; the quantum features of matter and the employment of atomic test masses with manipulation technique of internal and external degrees of freedom lead to a new generation of quantum sensors. In this thesis I present the development of a prototype for a transportable sensor at system and subsystem level. An instrument with such characteristics can find applications in many felds. The work has been developed in the framework of two European projects respectively oriented to the realization of an atom interferometry based absolute gravimeter for geophysical and metrological applications and to the realization of a Space Atom Interferometer for tests in micro-gravity environment. In order to focus on the possible scientific landscape I briefy illustrate in the introduction the existing devices and their characteristic performances, pointing out how the atom interferometry may represent a valid alternative leading to a new generation of quantum devices. The study, the development and the realization stages for our instrument are presented either for the laser system realization and for the the implementation of the whole apparatus. This work leads to the development of a very compact atomic physics interferometric system responding to the scientific requirements that represent our target. From the laser system side it has been realized also a complete and compact apparatus organized in a modular framework with stand alone components characterized by high working performances. This laser subsystem also includes laser sources in an external cavity configuration specially oriented to transportable apparatuses; they are characterized by an intrinsical passive stability, robustness and very narrow emission linewidth. The experience with neutral atom manipulation and with atom cooling and trapping technique has been integrated with a direct implementation, characterization and optimization of a Two Dimensional Magneto Optical Trap as a cold atoms source for an operating Atom Interferometer. Such kind of implementation represents a fundamental topic for a transportable sensor realization.
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