Bright solitonic matter-wave interferometer

G. D. McDonald*, C. C.N. Kuhn, K. S. Hardman, S. Bennetts, P. J. Everitt, P. A. Altin, J. E. Debs, J. D. Close, N. P. Robins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    129 Citations (Scopus)


    We present the first realization of a solitonic atom interferometer. A Bose-Einstein condensate of 1×104 atoms of rubidium-85 is loaded into a horizontal optical waveguide. Through the use of a Feshbach resonance, the s-wave scattering length of the Rb85 atoms is tuned to a small negative value. This attractive atomic interaction then balances the inherent matter-wave dispersion, creating a bright solitonic matter wave. A Mach-Zehnder interferometer is constructed by driving Bragg transitions with the use of an optical lattice colinear with the waveguide. Matter-wave propagation and interferometric fringe visibility are compared across a range of s-wave scattering values including repulsive, attractive and noninteracting values. The solitonic matter wave is found to significantly increase fringe visibility even compared with a noninteracting cloud.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number013002
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2014


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