Austrian Academy of Sciences
At the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IQOQI, OEAW), the team around Florian Schreck is studying strontium as future extension of the iSense technology platform. This alkaline-earth element has the potential to deliver higher sensitivities than possible with the alkali element rubidium, used for the iSense technology demonstrator. Alkaline-earth elements possess a rich optical term scheme comprising large and narrow linewidth optical transitions, a ground state free of magnetic moment, and metastable states. This richness opens fascinating possibilities for precision measurement, as impressively demonstrated by strontium optical clocks.
We are developing new techniques to manipulate ultracold strontium gases. In 2009 we were able to produce the first Bose-Einstein condensate of strontium and since then we have cooled three strontium isotopes to quantum degeneracy. We are characterizing the physical parameters of strontium relevant to precision measurement, especially the interaction properties. Schemes for precision measurement with strontium, also schemes based on quantum degenerate gases and the control of the collisional parameters of strontium are investigated, with the aim to reach sensitivities better than 1 microgal/Hz1/2.