Atom chip based generation of entanglement for quantum metrology

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Max F. Riedel, Pascal Böhi, Yun Li, Theodor W. Hänsch, Alice Sinatra, Philipp Treutlein
Nature 464, 1170-1173 (22 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08988
arXiv:1003.1651 [quant-ph] (

Atom chips provide a versatile `quantum laboratory on a microchip' for experiments with ultracold atomic gases. They have been used in experiments on diverse topics such as low-dimensional quantum gases, cavity quantum electrodynamics, atom-surface interactions, and chip-based atomic clocks and interferometers. A severe limitation of atom chips, however, is that techniques to control atomic interactions and to generate entanglement have not been experimentally available so far. Such techniques enable chip-based studies of entangled many-body systems and are a key prerequisite for atom chip applications in quantum simulations, quantum information processing, and quantum metrology. Here we report experiments where we generate multi-particle entanglement on an atom chip by controlling elastic collisional interactions with a state-dependent potential. We employ this technique to generate spin-squeezed states of a two-component Bose-Einstein condensate and show that they are useful for quantum metrology. The observed 3.7 dB reduction in spin noise combined with the spin coherence imply four-partite entanglement between the condensate atoms and could be used to improve an interferometric measurement by 2.5 dB over the standard quantum limit. Our data show good agreement with a dynamical multi-mode simulation and allow us to reconstruct the Wigner function of the spin-squeezed condensate. The techniques demonstrated here could be directly applied in chip-based atomic clocks which are currently being set up.