Atom interferometers are powerful tools for both measurements in fundamental physics and inertial sensing applications. Their performance, however, has been limited by the available interrogation time of atoms freely falling in a gravitational field. I will describe our realization of an intra-cavity trapped atom interferometer with 20 seconds of coherence, which extends the interrogation time of spatially-separated quantum superpositions of massive objects by nearly an order of magnitude. I will discuss how this trapped geometry differs from traditional free-fall atom interferometers by allowing potentials to be measured by holding, rather than dropping, atoms.
Victoria Xu is a Physics PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, where she works on using atom interferometry to study fundamental physics with Professor Holger Müller. Her research has focused on developing an atom interferometer trapped in an optical cavity, with applications in precise quantum metrology, gravitational physics, and searches for new physics.