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The European Physical Journal D

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 309–325 | Cite as

Atom interferometry measurement of the atom-surface van der Waals interaction

  • S. Lepoutre
  • V. P. A. Lonij
  • H. Jelassi
  • G. Trénec
  • M. Büchner
  • A. D. Cronin
  • J. ViguéEmail author
Regular Article

Abstract

Using a nano-scale grid as a phase-shifting component, an atom interferometer has been utilized to study atom-surface van der Waals (VdW) interactions. We report phase shifts on the order of 0.2 rad, with a few percent uncertainty. We also report the velocity-dependent attenuation of atomic de Broglie wave amplitude that occurs in conjunction with the observed phase shifts. From these data we deduce the strength of the VdW potential and its dependence on the atom-surface separation. We discuss how our measurements can be used to set limits on the strength of non-Newtonian gravity at short length scales and we discuss the possibility of measuring the atom-surface interactions over a larger range of atom-surface distances. We also compare our results to several theoretical predictions for the VdW potential of Li near a variety of surfaces.

Keywords

Velocity Dependence Atom Interferometer Atom Velocity Phase Drift Laser Standing Wave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lepoutre
    • 1
  • V. P. A. Lonij
    • 2
  • H. Jelassi
    • 1
    • 3
  • G. Trénec
    • 1
  • M. Büchner
    • 1
  • A. D. Cronin
    • 2
  • J. Vigué
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire Collisions Agrégats Réactivité IRSAMCUniversité de Toulouse-UPS and CNRS UMR 5589Toulouse Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Centre National des Sciences et Technologies NucléairesCNSTN, Pôle TechnologiqueSidi ThabetTunisia

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