We demonstrate an atomic interferometer in which the atom passes through a single-zone optical beam consisting of a pair of bichromatic counterpropagating fields. During the passage, the atomic wave packets in two distinct internal states trace out split trajectories, guided by the optical beams, with the amplitude and spread of each wave packet varying continuously, producing fringes that can reach a visibility close to unity. Theoretically, the rotation sensitivity of this continuous interferometer (CI) can be comparable to that of the Borde–Chu interferometer. The relative simplicity of the CI makes it a potentially better candidate for practical applications.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(020.6580) Atomic and molecular physics : Stark effect
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(220.3740) Optical design and fabrication : Lithography
M. S. Shahriar, P. Pradhan, Y. Tan, M. Jheeta, J. Morzinski, and P. R. Hemmer, "Demonstration of a continuously guided atomic interferometer by single-zone optical excitation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 1566-1570 (2005)