Cheong Chan

Mini Atom Interferometry

Physicists can now readily cool atoms down to near absolute zero and exploit their quantum behavior that one does not see at everyday room temperatures. One such application of cold atoms is called atom interferometry. Typically, the experimental setup of atom interferometers are quite bulky and can fill up a room. However, at the cost of some sensitivity these setups can be scaled down to the size of a moving box. Since such a small atom interferometers can measure accelerations nearly as well as other cutting edge technology, a miniature version could have applications in navigation and geophysical measurements. My project this summer is to create a small trap to cool the atoms that can be later extended into a small atom interferometer.

Message to Sponsor

There is a limit to how small eyes can see, how softly ears can hear, or how far arms can reach, but imagination has no bounds. The essence of physics is the creation of mental pictures of how the world works and the testing of the validity of these pictures. Berkeley is one of the few places in the world where so many people gather to look at these pictures. The perspectives offered by so many different people looking at the same picture is really valuable and offers a unique workplace to do research. Above all, this work is really fun. I want to thank both SURF and my professor Holger Mueller for supporting me in this project.
  • Major: Physics
  • Mentor: Holger Muller, Physics