Matter Neutrality Test Using a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer
Neutrality of atoms and neutrons is already well established, with upper limits on the residual charge close to 10-21|qe| where qe is the electron charge. The present paper proves that the sensitivity of atom interferometry is sufficient to compete with these previous measurements, with the additional advantage of dealing with single isolated particles. An experiment involving a three grating Mach-Zehnder atom interferometer using Bragg diffraction on laser standing waves and a slow lithium atomic beam is discussed with some details. Its sensitivity and the systematic effects due to atomic polarisability are evaluated carefully.
KeywordsAtomic Beam Lithium Atom Atom Interferometer Residual Charge Atom Interferometry
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