Role of source coherence in atom interferometery

Kyle S. Hardman, Carlos C.N. Kuhn, Gordon D. McDonald, John E. Debs, Shayne Bennetts, John D. Close, Nicholas P. Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The role of source cloud spatial coherence in a Mach-Zehnder-type atom interferometer is experimentally investigated. The visibility and contrast of a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) and three thermal sources with varying spatial coherence are compared as a function of interferometer time. At short times, the fringe visibility of a BEC source approaches 100% nearly independent of π pulse efficiency, while thermal sources have fringe visibilities limited to the π pulse efficiency. More importantly for precision measurement systems, the BEC source maintains interference at interferometer times significantly beyond the thermal source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023626
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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