Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 5, September 2006
Page(s) 688 - 694
Section General
Published online 02 August 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (5), pp. 688-694 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10177-6

Phase noise due to vibrations in Mach-Zehnder atom interferometers

M. Jacquey1, A. Miffre1, 2, M. Büchner1, G. Trénec1 and J. Vigué1

1  Laboratoire Collisions Agrégats Réactivité-IRSAMC Université Paul Sabatier and CNRS UMR 5589 118 Route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France
2  PIIM, Université de Provence and CNRS UMR 6633, Centre de saint Jérôme, case C21, 13397 Marseille cedex 20, France

received 4 April 2006; accepted in final form 13 July 2006
published online 2 August 2006

Atom interferometers are very sensitive to accelerations and rotations. This property, which has some very interesting applications, induces a deleterious phase noise due to the seismic noise of the laboratory and this phase noise is sufficiently large to reduce the fringe visibility in many experiments. We develop a model calculation of this phase noise in the case of Mach-Zehnder atom interferometers and we apply this model to our thermal lithium interferometer. We are able to explain a large fraction of the observed phase noise which has been detected through the rapid dependence of the fringe visibility with the diffraction order. We think that the dynamical model developed here should be very useful to reduce the vibration-induced phase noise in atom interferometers, making many new experiments feasible.

03.75.Dg - Atom and neutron interferometry.
39.20.+q - Atom interferometry techniques.
42.50.Vk - Mechanical effects of light on atoms, molecules, electrons, and ions.

© EDP Sciences 2006