The ultracold matter system developed in this work has the potential to dramatically enhance NASA's capabilities in numerous areas. These include: Inertial Sensing – compared to their light-based counterparts (e.g. fiber-optic and ring-laser gyros), ultracold-atom gyroscopes offer a phenomenal eleven orders of magnitude greater sensitivity to rotation, for equal geometries and particle fluxes. Similar improvements in accelerometry and gravimetry are also possible. Timekeeping – freezing the motion of atoms significantly improves accuracy, so much so that the next generation of state-of-the-art atomic clocks (with accuracies approaching 1 part in 1018) will rely on ultracold trapped atoms. Field Sensing – cold and ultracold atoms offer greater sensitivities for magnetic-field sensing compared to SQUIDs and other technologies.
In addition to applications relevant to NASA, the ultracold matter system developed in this work has other commercial applications. These include: Quantum Emulating – trapped, ultracold atoms form a pristine, defect-free system that is ideal for studying condensed matter systems, simulating multibody quantum systems, and implementing quantum computers and quantum information algorithms. Atomtronics – Precise control of ultracold atoms allows them to be engineered into useful devices that rely on the flow of coherent particles (as opposed to incoherent particles, as is the case in electricity).