Journal article

A quantum trampoline for ultra-cold atoms

We have observed the interferometric suspension of a free-falling Bose-Einstein condensate periodically submitted to multiple-order diffraction by a vertical 1D standing wave. This scheme permits simultaneously the compensation of gravity and coherent splitting/recombination of the matter waves. It results in high-contrast interference in the number of atoms detected at constant height. For long suspension times, multiple-wave interference is revealed through a sharpening of the fringes. We characterize our atom interferometer and use it to measure the acceleration of gravity.


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