Measurement of the Aharonov-Casher geometric phase with a separated-arm atom interferometer
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In this letter, we report a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher (AC) geometric phase with our lithium atom interferometer. The AC phase appears when a particle carrying a magnetic dipole propagates in a transverse electric field. The first measurement of the AC phase was done with a neutron interferometer in 1989 by Cimmino et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 380 (1989)] and all the following experiments were done with Ramsey or Ramsey-Bordé interferometers with molecules or atoms. In our experiment, we use lithium atoms pumped in a single hyperfine-Zeeman sublevel and we measure the AC-phase by applying opposite electric fields on the two interferometer arms. Our measurements are in good agreement with the expected theoretical values and they also provide a further test of the independence of the AC phase with the atom velocity.
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