Transitioning Cold Atoms Out of the Lab
Timekeeping, navigation, gravimetry, field-sensing, and quantum information are applications where cold atoms and ions have already demonstrated the potential to outperform existing state-of-the-art technologies. Creating devices that can perform these functions outside of a laboratory brings its own set of challenges. These devices must be compact, robust against large temperature swings and mechanical shock, and consume very little power.
I will present technologies that ColdQuanta is developing to address the challenges of portability, miniaturization, and reliability of cold-atom systems. The first is centimeter-scale cold-atom beam sources for atomic clocks and light-pulse interferometers. The second is the vacuum system that ColdQuanta is constructing for NASA’s Cold-Atom Laboratory (CAL) mission; I will review key features of this vacuum system and how they advance CAL’s scientific goals. Finally, to advance quantum information, I will review ColdQuanta’s recent efforts to apply neutral-atom vacuum technology to develop cryogenic-based systems for ion trapping, an area where we are collaborating with UMD and JQI.