We study the propagation of cold-atom wave packets in an interferometer with a Mach-Zehnder topology based on the dynamical phase of Bloch oscillation in a weakly forced optical lattice with a narrow potential barrier that functions as a cold-atom wave-packet splitter. We calculate analytically the atomic wave function, and show that the expected number of atoms in the two outputs of the interferometer oscillates rapidly as a function of the angle between the potential barrier and the forcing direction with period proportional to the external potential difference across a lattice spacing divided by the lattice band energy scale. The interferometer can be used as a high-precision force probe whose principle of operation is different from current interferometers based on the overall position of Bloch oscillating wave packets.
|Original language||American English|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - 9 Dec 2011|