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Title: Atom interferometry in space: Thermal management and magnetic shielding

Atom interferometry is an exciting tool to probe fundamental physics. It is considered especially apt to test the universality of free fall by using two different sorts of atoms. The increasing sensitivity required for this kind of experiment sets severe requirements on its environments, instrument control, and systematic effects. This can partially be mitigated by going to space as was proposed, for example, in the Spacetime Explorer and Quantum Equivalence Principle Space Test (STE-QUEST) mission. However, the requirements on the instrument are still very challenging. For example, the specifications of the STE-QUEST mission imply that the Feshbach coils of the atom interferometer are allowed to change their radius only by about 260 nm or 2.6 × 10{sup −4} % due to thermal expansion although they consume an average power of 22 W. Also Earth's magnetic field has to be suppressed by a factor of 10{sup 5}. We show in this article that with the right design such thermal and magnetic requirements can indeed be met and that these are not an impediment for the exciting physics possible with atom interferometers in space.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM), University Bremen, Am Fallturm, 28359 Bremen (Germany)
  2. DLR Institute for Space Systems, Robert-Hooke-Str. 7, 28359 Bremen (Germany)
  3. (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22314650
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ATOMS; EARTH PLANET; EQUIVALENCE PRINCIPLE; INTERFEROMETERS; INTERFEROMETRY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC SHIELDING; SENSITIVITY; SPACE-TIME; THERMAL EXPANSION