J. Phys. IV France
Volume 135, October 2006
Page(s) 9 - 16
Publié en ligne 23 novembre 2006
Neuvième colloque sur les lasers et l'optique quantique
C. Chardonnet et G. Millot
J. Phys. IV France 135 (2006) 9-16

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2006135003

Lithium atom interferometry

M. Jacquey, A. Miffre, M. Büchner, G. Trénec and J. Vigué

Laboratoire Collisions, Agrégats, Réactivité (UMR 5589 CNRS-UPS) IRSAMC, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France

(Published online 23 November 2006)

We have built an atom interferometer of the Mach Zehnder type. The atomic wave ( $\lambda_{\it dB}=54$ pm) is a supersonic beam of lithium seeded in argon. The realization of mirrors and beams splitters for the atomic wave relies on elastic Bragg diffraction on laser standing waves at $\lambda= 671$ nm. We first present our experimental setup and signals with atomic fringes which exhibit a very high visibility, up to $84.5 \pm 1 \%$, and a very large phase sensitivity. This phase sensitivity is then used to perform an absolute measurement of the lithium atom electric polarizability by applying an electric field on only one atomic beam in the interferometer. Our result, $\alpha= (24.33 \pm 0.16) \times
10^{-30}$ m3, reduces by a factor three the uncertainty of the best previous measurement.

© EDP Sciences 2006