Prof. Ron Folman
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
5th September 2022, 5:00pm - 6:00pm (GST)
Realization of a complete Stern-Gerlach interferometer: Towards a test of quantum gravity
The Stern-Gerlach effect, found a century ago, has become a paradigm of quantum mechanics. Unexpectedly, until recently, there has been little evidence that the original scheme with freely propagating atoms exposed to gradients from macroscopic magnets is a fully coherent quantum process. Several theoretical studies have explained why a Stern-Gerlach interferometer is a formidable challenge. Here, we provide a detailed account of the realization of a full-loop Stern-Gerlach interferometer for single atoms and use the acquired understanding to show how this setup may be used to realize an interferometer for macroscopic objects doped with a single spin. Such a realization would open the door to a new era of fundamental probes, including the realization of previously inaccessible tests at the interface of quantum mechanics and gravity.
Ron Folman is a professor of quantum physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), where he heads the Atom Chip group. He was the founder and first director of the BGU center for quantum science and technology since 2010, and the founder and first director of the center for nano-fabrication since 2003. Folman is one of the inventors of the Atom Chip. Folman is active in probing the interface between the general theory of relativity (gravity) and quantum mechanics. In addition, he is involved in anti-matter physics at CERN (GBAR) and in the searches for Dark Matter (GNOME). In 2011, he received the Willis Lamb award and in 2013, he was a Miller visiting professor at Berkeley. In 2021, he received the Falling Walls award for physics.