📰 Ultra-precise measurement of the rotation of matter waves


At the Paris Observatory – PSL, the “Atomic Interferometry and Inertial Sensors” team of SYRTE (Paris Observatory – PSL / CNRS / SU / LNE) published on 10 June 2022 in the journal Science Advances a precise test of the Sagnac effect from part of the waves of it matters (Matter is the substance that makes up any body having a tangible reality. Its …). The team was able to measure the phase shift induced (Armature is a generally electromagnetic device used in electrical engineering responsible for …) from the rotation of the Land (Earth is the third planet in the Solar System in order of distance …) and agree with the theoretical prediction at an accuracy level of 25 parts per millions (One million (1,000,000) is the natural number after nine hundred ninety-nine …). Beyond the importance for the physicist (Physics (from the Greek φυσις, nature) is etymologically the …) basic (In music, the fundamental word can refer to several meanings.)this work opens up practical applications in seismology e geodesy (Geodesy gets its name from the Greek words γη (Earth) and …).

Left: schematic shape of the interferometer.
Right: atomic displacements measured along the two axes of the gyrometer as a function oforientation (In the literal sense, orientation designates or materializes the direction of the East (dawn …) he was born inangle (In geometry, the general notion of angle is declined in several concepts …) rotation.

When we look at theinterference (In wave mechanics we speak of interference when two waves of the same type …) of two counter-propagation waves surrounding a closed area, a phase shift induced by the rotation of the experiment frame is observed. The instrument is therefore called a gyroscope. This known effect is called Sagnac effect (The Sagnac effect is a physical phenomenon discovered by Georges Sagnac in 1913. It is …)from physicist (A physicist is a scientist who studies the field of physics, that is ….) French who tried to highlight it since 1913, to test the laws of combination (A combination can be 🙂 speed of light (Light is the set of electromagnetic waves visible to the eye …). The Sagnac effect is a relativistic effect, somewhat analogous to the twin paradox (In physics, the twin paradox (sometimes called Langevin’s paradox) is a …) of Langevin, but where theacceleration (Acceleration commonly refers to an increase in speed; in physics, …) derives from the rotation of the frame. The Sagnac effect also played a key role in the creation of the relativity theory (This article deals with the theory of relativity through the ages. In physics, the notion of …) and pushed for the development of precision optical interferometers.

Rotation sensitivity gives rise to many applications for the navigation (Navigation is the science and the set of techniques that allow you to 🙂 machines such as submarines, airplanes, rockets … When Sagnac gyrometers are sufficiently precise, the study of the Earth’s rotation spectra allows information on earthquakes and variations to be obtained field (A field corresponds to a notion of defined space 🙂 from severity (The gravitational field (or more commonly gravity) is an attractive field to which everyone is subject …) that disturb the rotation of the Earth.

The fundamental importance of the Sagnac effect has also motivated the carrying out of experiments aimed at testing its validity for waves other than optical ones. Absolute and precision measurements remain a major challenge.

The atomic interferometry team e Sensors (A sensor is a device that transforms the state of an observed physical quantity into a …) Inertials of SYRTE just published in the magazine Science (Science (Latin scientia, “knowledge”) is, according to the dictionary …) Advances a precise test of the Sagnac effect by the waves of matter. A wave (A wave is the propagation of a disturbance that produces a reversible change in its path …) matter is the wave equivalent of particles here atoms (An atom (from the Greek ατομος, atomos, “which cannot be …) of cooled cesium laser (A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) …). In the SYRTE gyrometer, the atoms are launched in such a way that their trajectories form a figure 8 and contain a surface (A surface generally refers to the surface layer of an object. The term a …) geometry of 11 cm2 and two axes of sensitive measures. The team was able to measure the Earth’s rotation-induced phase shift and agree with the theoretical prediction with an accuracy level of 25 parts per million.

Beyond the importance for fundamental physics, our work opens up practical applications in seismology and geodesy.

Gautier, R., Guessoum, M., Sidorenkov, LA, Bouton, Q., Landragin, A. Geiger, R .: 2022, Accurate measurement of the Sagnac effect for matter waves, Science Advances, 8, 23 www. science. org

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