Quantum systems can be exceptionally sensitive probes of electric, magnetic, gravitational and inertial forces. The aim of this research is to exploit that sensitivity to make useful sensors of unprecedented precision and accuracy.
One important application area is inertial navigation. This method of navigation relies on accurate accelerometers and gyroscopes. We are developing ultracold atom interferometers for use as accelerometers in navigation systems. Atoms make excellent sensors of acceleration, free from drift and calibration error.