J. Phys. IV France 119 (2004) 233-234
An atom interferometer using thermal lithium atomsA. Miffre, M. Jacquey, R. Delhuille, M. Büchner, C. Rizzo, G. Trénec and J. Vigué
Laboratoire Collisions Agrégats Réactivité - IRSAMC, Université Paul Sabatier and CNRS UMR 5589, 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France
We have built an atom interferometer of the Mach-Zehnder type, operating with thermal lithium atoms . Its design is largely inspired by previous works done by the groups of D. Pritchard , A. Zeilinger  and S.A. Lee . In our apparatus, the atomic wave is diffracted in the Bragg regime by three laser sanding waves to achieve a Mach-Zehnder configuration. This paper briefly recalls the diffraction process and shows the experimental results obtained in our group. Our apparatus is able to achieve a high fringe contrast of 74 % with a large mean detected atom flux of s -1. Finally, the paper ends with the measurement of the velocity distribution of our lithium beam using a light induced fluorescence technique.
© EDP Sciences 2004