Nanoparticle interferometer by throw and catch

Jakub Wardak, Tiberius Georgescu, Giulio Gasbarri, Alessio Belenchia, Hendrik Ulbricht

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Matter wave interferometry with increasingly larger masses could pave the way to understanding the nature of wavefunction collapse, the quantum to classical transition, or even how an object in a spatial superposition interacts with its gravitational field. In order to improve upon the current mass record, it is necessary to move into the nanoparticle regime. In this paper, we provide a design for a nanoparticle Talbot–Lau matter wave interferometer that circumvents the practical challenges of previously proposed designs. We present numerical estimates of the expected fringe patterns that such an interferometer would produce, considering all major sources of decoherence. We discuss the practical challenges involved in building such an experiment, as well as some preliminary experimental results to illustrate the proposed measurement scheme. We show that such a design is suitable for seeing interference fringes with 106 amu SiO2 particles and that this design can be extended to even 108 amu particles by using flight times below the typical Talbot time of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024


  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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