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      Atom Interferometers

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          Abstract

          Interference with atomic and molecular matter waves is a rich branch of atomic physics and quantum optics. It started with atom diffraction from crystal surfaces and the separated oscillatory fields technique used in atomic clocks. Atom interferometry is now reaching maturity as a powerful art with many applications in modern science. In this review we first describe the basic tools for coherent atom optics including diffraction by nanostructures and laser light, three-grating interferometers, and double wells on AtomChips. Then we review scientific advances in a broad range of fields that have resulted from the application of atom interferometers. These are grouped in three categories: (1) fundamental quantum science, (2) precision metrology and (3) atomic and molecular physics. Although some experiments with Bose Einstein condensates are included, the focus of the review is on linear matter wave optics, i.e. phenomena where each single atom interferes with itself.

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          Theory of Bose-Einstein condensation in trapped gases

          The phenomenon of Bose-Einstein condensation of dilute gases in traps is reviewed from a theoretical perspective. Mean-field theory provides a framework to understand the main features of the condensation and the role of interactions between particles. Various properties of these systems are discussed, including the density profiles and the energy of the ground state configurations, the collective oscillations and the dynamics of the expansion, the condensate fraction and the thermodynamic functions. The thermodynamic limit exhibits a scaling behavior in the relevant length and energy scales. Despite the dilute nature of the gases, interactions profoundly modify the static as well as the dynamic properties of the system; the predictions of mean-field theory are in excellent agreement with available experimental results. Effects of superfluidity including the existence of quantized vortices and the reduction of the moment of inertia are discussed, as well as the consequences of coherence such as the Josephson effect and interference phenomena. The review also assesses the accuracy and limitations of the mean-field approach.
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            Scheme for reducing decoherence in quantum computer memory.

             Sarit Shor,  Erez Shor (1995)
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              Decoherence and the Transition from Quantum to Classical

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                21 December 2007
                Article
                10.1103/RevModPhys.81.1051
                0712.3703
                Custom metadata
                Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1051 (2009)
                submitted to Reviews of Modern Physics
                quant-ph

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