University of Sussex
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An atomchip gyro: theory and experiment

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posted on 2023-06-09, 21:16 authored by Jean-Marc Martin
In the context of the second quantum revolution, the field of quantum sensors is in full expansion. One of the corner stones of this field is inertial sensing through cold-atom interferometry which provides sensors of high precision and stability. Size reduction is one of the main tasks in order to develop atomic inertial sensors that could apply to inertial navigation: this leads to the development of atom-chips. It is with this context in mind that this thesis investigates an atom-chip gyro in a collaboration between the University of Sussex and l'Observatoire de Paris (France). The experimental work is hosted at l'Observatoire de Paris where we worked on atom-chip fabrication, comparing metal deposition by evaporation and by electroplating, and paying attention on the wire's roughness as it impacts on the magnetic waveguide and therefore the atoms. But the wire's roughness is only one source of noise to the magnetic waveguide. Low noise current supplies are also studied and characterised. Furthermore, using the density operator and coherent state basis we develop a simple and elegant formalism under a 1D approximation. We use a new approach to show how temperature inuences the propagation of a wavepacket by increasing the spatial spreading while decreasing the wavepacket coherence. We also built a model for the pumping dynamics of a cold-atom experiment in a single vacuum chamber which matches experimental data from l'Observatoire de Paris and is an important step to work on size and the dead time reduction of sensors. All these different steps present in this thesis take us towards a working inertial sensor. While working on noise characterisation which will always remain a fundamental issue in building an inertial sensor, this thesis presents new models and approaches that may benefit the development of quantum technologies


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  • eng


University of Sussex

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