cold-atom inertial sensor without dead time

The cooling of atoms by laser has allowed a revolution in the field of quantum technologies. It has led, for example, to improve the performance of atomic clocks by several orders of magnitude, and is used to realize ultra-sensitive rotational and acceleration sensors. However, the measurements made on clouds of cold atoms are discontinuous: the cooling phase of the atoms represents a non-negligible duration of the experiment during which the measurement is interrupted. For an inertial sensor, this loss of information was, up to now, a limiting factor for many applications. A team of researchers from the LNE-SYRTE (Paris Observatory, PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Universities) has demonstrated a method to overcome this technological limitation, with a brilliant idea of ​​interlacing measurements and a delicate technical masters. Thanks to this work, the performances of the cold atom gyrometers have been improved by a factor of thirty, opening up new possibilities in geoscience and fundamental physics.

Author : Remi Geiger

For more info, here you find the :

Link towards the article published in prl.
The article in the CNRS communiqué de presse communiqué de presse du CNRS

The website of the group Interférométrie Atomique et Capteurs Inertiels du SYRTE.