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Published October 2015 | Published
Journal Article Open

Mesoscopic mechanical resonators as quantum noninertial reference frames


An atom attached to a micrometer-scale wire that is vibrating at a frequency ∼100 MHz and with displacement amplitude ∼1 nm experiences an acceleration magnitude ∼10^9 m s^(−2), approaching the surface gravity of a neutron star. As one application of such extreme noninertial forces in a mesoscopic setting, we consider a model two-path atom interferometer with one path consisting of the 100 MHz vibrating wire atom guide. The vibrating wire guide serves as a noninertial reference frame and induces an in principle measurable phase shift in the wave function of an atom traversing the wire frame. We furthermore consider the effect on the two-path atom wave interference when the vibrating wire is modeled as a quantum object, hence functioning as a quantum noninertial reference frame. We outline a possible realization of the vibrating wire, atom interferometer using a superfluid helium quantum interference setup.

Additional Information

©2015 American Physical Society. Received 30 September 2014. Published October 8, 2015. We thank Prof. S. A. Werner for conversations that inspired this work. We acknowledge funding provided by the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMR-1104790 (M.P.B.), and the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant No. GBMF1250 (KCS).

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Published - PhysRevA.92.042104-4.pdf


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