Abstract

The FORCA-G experiment, currently under construction at SYRTE (Paris Observatory) [1, 2], aims at providing a new observation of the Casimir-Polder interaction between an atom and a surface, and it also intends to impose new constraints on the existence of hypothetical deviations from the Newtonian law of gravitation. In this experiment, 87Rb atoms are trapped in a optical lattice close to a mirror (see figure 1, left panel). As the optical trap has a vertical configuration, Earth’s gravitation field acting on the atoms has to be taken into account and without the presence of the mirror, the atomic wave-functions would be given by the well-known Wannier-Stark states [4]. In the experiment, an atomic interferometer (see figure 1, middle panel) will allow to measure precisely the Casimir-Polder interaction as a phaseshift Δϕ=2(mRbgλl+VCPn+1VCPn1)τ+(ωegn+1ωegn1)τ, with τ the time of free evolution and λl = 512 nm the wavelength of the trapping beams.

© 2015 IEEE

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