Orientational atom interferometers sensitive to gravitational waves

Dennis Lorek, Claus Lämmerzahl, Andreas Wicht
2010 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
We present an atom interferometer that differs from common atom interferometers as it is not based on the spatial splitting of electronic wave functions, but on orienting atoms in space. As an example we present how an orientational atom interferometer based on highly charged hydrogen-like atoms is affected by gravitational waves. We show that a monochromatic gravitational wave will cause a frequency shift that scales with the binding energy of the system rather than with its physical
more » ... For a gravitational wave amplitude of h = 10 −23 the frequency shift is of the order of 110 µHz for an atom interferometer based on a 91-fold charged uranium ion. A frequency difference of this size can be resolved by current atom interferometers in 1 s.
doi:10.1103/physreva.81.023621 fatcat:ctsyvlyhpjdijg4ae4urwqbdzi