Physics Colloquium

Tue, Sep 19, 2023 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
1410 Toll Building


Jason Hogan, Stanford University

Long baseline clock atom interferometry for gravitational wave and dark matter detection

Atom interferometry and atomic clocks continue to make impressive gains in sensitivity and time precision. I will discuss the potential for using atomic sensors for gravitational wave detection and searches for dark matter. Interest in this has driven the growth of the emerging field of long-baseline atomic sensing, which aims to scale up “tabletop” experiments to the kilometer-scale and beyond. Key to this is the development of a new type of “clock” atom interferometry based on narrow-line optical transitions that combines inertial sensitivity with features from the best atomic clocks. This technique is central to the MAGIS-100 experiment, a 100-meter-tall atomic sensor now under construction at Fermilab that will probe for ultra-light dark matter and will serve as a prototype for a future gravitational wave detector targeting the unexplored “mid-band” frequency range. Reaching the sensitivity needed for these ambitious goals also requires substantial advances in atom optics in order to increase the space-time area of the interferometer. I will describe atom optics that use Floquet modulation to reach pulse fidelities exceeding 99.4%, allowing for a record-setting momentum separation between the interferometer arms of over 400 ћk.