The use of cold atoms in any sensor operating in a dynamic environment requires that the measurement cycle be conducted before the atom cloud escapes the interaction region. Under multiple-g accelerations it is desirable to complete measurements in millisecond time scales, particularly when laser beams are used to interrogate the atoms. In this paper, we demonstrate high-contrast atom interferometry in a vapor cell using stimulated Raman transitions at millisecond interrogation times. Laser-cooled cesium atoms are interrogated with a sequence of three Raman pulses and the interferometer phase is read out in the same region in which the atoms are trapped. Our system achieved over 70% contrast with a Doppler insensitive interferometer and over 30% contrast with a Doppler sensitive interferometer, in an environment normally considered adverse to high-contrast atom interferometry (e.g., no retroreflector stabilization and no magnetic shielding). Demonstration of an inertially sensitive atom interferometer in this environment supports the feasibility of a high-bandwidth inertial sensor using light pulse atom interferometry. Finally, we show that Raman pulse population transfer efficiency in our system is primarily limited by nonuniformity of the Raman laser intensity across the atom cloud.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Original Manuscript: August 25, 2010
Revised Manuscript: December 6, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: December 8, 2010
Published: February 10, 2011
David L. Butts, Joseph M. Kinast, Brian P. Timmons, and Richard E. Stoner, "Light pulse atom interferometry at short interrogation times," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 28, 416-421 (2011)