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Phys Rev Lett. 2016 Oct 14;117(16):163003. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

Competition between Spin Echo and Spin Self-Rephasing in a Trapped Atom Interferometer.

Author information

1
SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris 06, LNE, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France.
2
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS UMR 8502, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91405 Orsay Cedex, France.
3
Laboratoire de Physique Théorique de la Matière Condensée, CNRS UMR 7600, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.

Abstract

We perform Ramsey interferometry on an ultracold ^{87}Rb ensemble confined in an optical dipole trap. We use a π pulse set at the middle of the interferometer to restore the coherence of the spin ensemble by canceling out phase inhomogeneities and creating a spin echo in the contrast. However, for high atomic densities, we observe the opposite behavior: the π pulse accelerates the dephasing of the spin ensemble leading to a faster contrast decay of the interferometer. We understand this phenomenon as a competition between the spin-echo technique and an exchange-interaction driven spin self-rephasing mechanism based on the identical spin rotation effect. Our experimental data are well reproduced by a numerical model.

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