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Viability of rotation sensing using phonon interferometry in Bose-Einstein condensates

by Charles W. Woffinden, Andrew J. Groszek, Guillaume Gauthier, Bradley J. Mommers, Michael. W. J. Bromley, Simon A. Haine, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Matthew J. Davis, Tyler W. Neely, Mark Baker

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Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Charles Woffinden
Submission information
Preprint Link:  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2023-07-26
Date submitted: 2023-06-13 04:06
Submitted by: Woffinden, Charles
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Experiment
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Theory
  • Quantum Physics
Approaches: Theoretical, Experimental


We demonstrate the use of a ring-shaped Bose-Einstein condensate as a rotation sensor by measuring the interference between two counter-propagating phonon modes imprinted azimuthally around the ring. We observe rapid decay of the excitations, quantified by quality factors of at most $Q \approx 27$. We numerically model our experiment using the c-field methodology, allowing us to estimate the parameters that maximise the performance of our sensor. We explore the damping mechanisms underlying the observed phonon decay, and identify two distinct Landau scattering processes that each dominate at different driving amplitudes and temperatures. Our simulations reveal that $Q$ is limited by strong damping of phonons even in the zero temperature limit. We perform an experimental proof-of-principle rotation measurement using persistent currents imprinted around the ring. We demonstrate a rotation sensitivity of up to $\Delta \Omega \approx 0.3$ rad/s from a single image, with a theoretically achievable value of $\Delta \Omega \approx 0.04$ rad/s in the atomic shot-noise limit. This is a significant improvement over the shot-noise-limited $\Delta \Omega \approx 1$ rad/s sensitivity obtained by Marti et al. [Phys. Rev. A 91, 013602 (2015)] for a similar setup.

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your response and that of the referees. We have updated the manuscript to address the comments of both referees and look forward to receiving the reports on the updated version.

List of changes

We have updated Section 3.1 to state that the thermodynamics of the system are expected to be 3-D and the condensate fraction we achieve is the highest possible with our current experimental configuration.

We have made the red line in Figure 1 thicker to assist with visibility.

We have updated Section 4 to be make clearer that the model is not purely qualitative and added more detail around the cutoff method. We have also detailed further the conditions which remain fixed when comparing 2-D and 3-D simulations.

In Section 6.6.2, we have clarified the fitting function used to derive the sine function. This has also been clarified in the captions to Figure 4 and Figure 6.

In Sec. 7.3, we had previously written (regarding the experimental data): “The horizontal [error] bars
are dominated by the variation in rotation frequency over the finite width of the ring due to the irrotational nature of the flow.” This was in reference to the comment below Eq. (12), where we point
out that the rotation rate varies across the width of the ring. We have added “(see Sec. 7.1)” to the end of this sentence to make the link clearer.

In the caption of Figure 8, we have added the value of m*.

We have added the following sentence in Sec 7.4 to clarify origin of the horizontal error bar in Figure 10b.
“However, the horizontal error bars remain approximately the same size as the experimental data, due
to the aforementioned variation in rotation frequency over the width of the ring.”

We have added some further description at the end of the conclusion to describe how the the phonon
rotation sensor could be used to counteract drift in a classical sensor during prolonged operation.

Published as SciPost Phys. 15, 128 (2023)

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2023-6-13 (Invited Report)


The authors' response to my comments and the changes made to the manuscript are fully satisfactory. I recommend publication.

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