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We present projects for future space missions using new quantum devices based on ultracold atoms. They will enable fundamental physics experiments testing quantum physics, physics beyond the standard model of fundamental particles and interactions, special relativity, gravitation and general relativity.

The gravitational field of a laser pulse of finite lifetime, is investigated in the framework of linearized gravity. Although the effects are very small, they may be of fundamental physical interest. It is shown that the gravitational field of a linearly polarized light pulse is modulated as the norm of the corresponding electric field strength, while no modulations arise for circular polarization. In general, the gravitational field is independent of the polarization direction. It is shown that all physical effects are confined to spherical shells expanding with the speed of light, and that these shells are imprints of the spacetime events representing emission and absorption of the pulse. Nearby test particles at rest are attracted towards the pulse trajectory by the gravitational field due to the emission of the pulse, and they are repelled from the pulse trajectory by the gravitational field due to its absorption. Examples are given for the size of the attractive effect. It is recovered that massless test particles do not experience any physical effect if they are co-propagating with the pulse, and that the acceleration of massless test particles counter-propagating with respect to the pulse is four times stronger than for massive particles at rest. The similarities between the gravitational effect of a laser pulse and Newtonian gravity in two dimensions are pointed out. The spacetime curvature close to the pulse is compared to that induced by gravitational waves from astronomical sources.

Gravitational properties of light: The emission of counter-propagating laser pulses from an atom
(2017)

The differential cross-section for gravitational photon-photon scattering calculated in perturbative quantum gravity is shown to depend on the degree of polarization entanglement of the two photons. The interaction between photons in the symmetric Bell state is stronger than between not entangled photons. In contrast, the interaction between photons in the anti-symmetric Bell state is weaker than between not entangled photons. The results are interpreted in terms of quantum interference, and it is shown how they fit into the idea of distance-dependent forces. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2016

We consider the role of weak interaction on the fluctuations of the number of condensed atoms within canonical and microanonical ensembles. Unlike the correspinding case of the ideal gas this is not a clean, well-defined problem of mathematical physics. Two related reasons are the following: there is no unique way of defining the condensate fraction of the interacting system and no exact energy levels of the interacting system are known.

The atom laser (or `Boser') is a device that delivers a beam of atomic de Broglie waves with high coherence and monochromaticity. In this review, we concentrate on an all-optical scheme of an atom laser that is based on optical pumping. The model is first presented in terms of kinetic equations, and its relation to the ordinary laser and the Bose-Einstein condensation is discussed. We then derive a master equation for the quantum statistics dynamics of the atom laser. Neglecting photon reabsorption processes, the master equation is solved and the counting statistics is computed. Finally, the effects of the inelastic reabsorption processes are investigated for the particular case of two atoms. It is shown that the onset of atom-lasing is suppressed in large resonators, but may be achieved in small and/or low-dimensional resonators.

We study the scattering of quantum particles in the presence of an Aharonov-Bohm vortex and in an arbitrary cylindrically symmetric potential. In particular we address the scattering of atoms carrying dipole moments induced by an electrically charged wire and a homogeneous magnetic field. We argue that, despite the strong attraction of the wire, an Aharoniv-Bohm effect will be visible.