J. Phys. IV France
Volume 119, November 2004
Page(s) 233 - 234

J. Phys. IV France 119 (2004) 233-234

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2004119072

An atom interferometer using thermal lithium atoms

A. 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 [1]. Its design is largely inspired by previous works done by the groups of D. Pritchard [2], A. Zeilinger [3] and S.A. Lee [4]. 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 $1.5 \times 10^{4}$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