IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Advances in Interferometry Workshop PDF

Wednesday, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 2018, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 3 Forbes Road, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

April 25, 2018
7 PM

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Atom Interferometer Measurements using Nanogratings Slides

Prof. Alexander D. Cronin, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ


Prof. Alexander D. Cronin, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Abstract:  Nanofabricated gratings enable atom interferometry with multiple elements.  I will discuss measurements of atom-surface van der Waals (Casimir-Polder) potentials for Li, Na, K, Rb and Cs atoms interacting with silicon nitride surfaces [1-2], measurements static electric dipole polarizabilities for Na, K, Rb, and Cs atoms [3-5], and measurements of a tune-out wavelength (i.e. a root in the dynamic polarizability) for K atoms [6-7].  I will discuss our polarizability measurements in more detail and show how these can be used to report the Cs 6P J=3/2 atomic lifetime T = 30.37(3) ns with unprecedented uncertainty.   These measurements demonstrate benefits of a universal interferometer that uses nanogratings to diffract and recombine de Broglie waves of many atomic and molecular species, as well as electrons [8-9] and neutrons [10].   [1] PRL 95, 133201.  [2] PRL 105, 233202.  [3] PRA 81, 053607.  [4] PRA 92, 052513.  [5] Atoms, 4(3), p.21.  [6] PRL 109, 243004.  [7] PRA 95, 052507, [8] PRA 74, 061602.   [9] NJP 11, 033021.   [10] PRL 120, 113201.


Biography:  Alex Cronin is a Professor of Physics at the University of Arizona, where he has worked since 2002.   He received a BS in Physics from Stanford University in 1993, and a PhD in Physics from the University of Washington in 1999 under Norval Fortson. He was a postdoc at MIT from 1999-2002 in Dave Pritchard's atom interferometry group.   Cronin won a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Arizona College of Science in 2008, and the Koffler Prize for Teaching at the University of Arizona in 2009.   Cronin was a Faculty Fellow at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy in 2015, and served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation during 2016-2018.


For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Farhad Hakimi, (, Advances in Interferometry Workshop Co-Chair
2) Bill Nelson, (, Advances in Interferometry Workshop Co-Chair