Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 4 (2009)

Precision measurements of gravity using cold atom sensors

F. Sorrentino, M. de Angelis, A. Bertoldi, L. Cacciapuoti, A. Giorgini, M. Prevedelli, G. Rosi, G. M. Tino


We present a synthetic view of experiments we are performing using atom interferometry to determine the gravitational constant G and to test the Newtonian gravitational law at micrometric distances. Accurate gravity measurements with atom interferometry also find applications in geophysical studies and in satellite missions for the geoid mapping. Experiments in progress, using ultracold atom devices, for applications in geophyiscal and space monitoring will be also described.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09025]

Full Text: PDF

Citation Details

Cite this article


A. Peters, K. Y. Chung, and S. Chu, "Measurement of gravitational acceleration by dropping atoms" Nature 400, 849-852 (1999).

G. Lamporesi, A. Bertoldi, L. Cacciapuoti, M. Prevedelli, and G. M. Tino, "Determination of the Newtonian Gravitational Constant Using Atom Interferometry" Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 050801 (2008).

J. M. McGuirk, G. T. Foster, J. B. Fixler, M. J. Snadden, and M. A. Kasevich, "Sensitive absolute-gravity gradiometry using atom interferometry" Phys. Rev. A 65, 033608 (2002).

T. L. Gustavson, A. Landragin, and M. A. Kasevich, "Rotation sensing with a dual atom-interferometer Sagnac gyroscope" Classical Quant. Grav. 17, 2385-2398 (2000).

G. M. Tino, L. Cacciapuoti, K. Bongs, Ch.J. Bordé, P. Bouyer, H. Dittus, W. Ertmer, A. Görlitz, M. Inguscio, A. Landragin, P. Lemonde, C. Lammerzahl, A. Peters, E. Rasel, J. Reichel, C. Salomon, S. Schiller, W. Schleich, K. Sengstock, U. Sterr, and M. Wilkens et. al. "Atom interferometers and optical atomic clocks: New quantum sensors for fundamental physics experiments in space" Nucl. Phys. B 166, 159-165 (2007).

J. B. Fixler, G. T. Foster, J. M. McGuirk, and M. A. Kasevich, "Atom Interferometer Measurement of the Newtonian Constant of Gravity" Science 315, 74-77 (2007).

G. Lamporesi, A. Bertoldi, A. Cecchetti, B. Duhlach, M. Fattori, A. Malengo, S. Pettorruso, M. Prevedelli, and G. M. Tino, "Source mass and positioning system for an accurate measurement of G" Rev. Sci. Instrum. 78, 075109 (2007).

P. Cheinet, F. Pereira Dos Santos, T. Petelski, A. Clairon, N. Dimarcq, D. Holleville, and A. Landragin, Cold Atom Absolute Gravimeter for the Watt Balance 60-61 (Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements Digest, 2004).

J. Le Gouët, T. E. Mehlstäubler, J. Kim, S. Merlet, A. Clairon, A. Landragin, and F. Pereira Dos Santos, "Limits to the sensitivity of a low noise compact atomic gravimeter" Appl. Phys. B 92, 133-144 (2008).

K. Moler, D. S. Weiss, M. Kasevich, and S. Chu, "Theoretical analysis of velocity-selective Raman transitions" Phys. Rev. A 45, 342- 348 (1992).

G. Ferrari, N. Poli, F. Sorrentino, and G. M. Tino, "Long-Lived Bloch Oscillations with Bosonic Sr Atoms and Application to Gravity Measurement at the Micrometer Scale" Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 060402 (2006).

P. J. Mohr, B. N. Taylor, and D. B. Newell "CODATA Recommended Values of the Fundamental Physical Constants: 2006" Rev. Mod. Phys. 80, 633 (2008).

G. T. Foster, J. B. Fixler, J. M. McGuirk, and M. A. Kasevich, "Novel method of phase extraction between coupled atom interferometers using ellipse-specific fitting" Opt. Lett. 27, 951-953 (2002).

D. M. Weld, J. Xia, B. Cabrera, and A. Kapitulnik, "A New Apparatus for Detecting Micron-Scale Deviations from Newtonian Gravity" Phys. Rev. D 77, 062006 (2008).

See contributions in (2009).

M. R. Drinkwater, R. Haagmans, D. Muzi, A. Popescu, R. Floberghagen, M. Kern, and M. Fehringer, The GOCE gravity mission: ESA's first core Earth explorer volume 62, 1-8 (Proceedings of 3rd International GOCE User Workshop, 6-8 November, 2006, Frascati, Italy, 2007).