MIGA will be a new, hybrid detector that couples laser and matter-wave interferometry to study sub Hertz variations of the strain tensor of space-time and gravitation. Using a novel approach exploiting a set of atomic interferometers simultaneously manipulated by the resonant optical field of a 200m cavity, this instrument will allow at the same time a better understanding of the evolution of the gravitational field and a new tool for gravitational waves (GW) detection. The experimental concept of MIGA relies on matter wave interferometry, where a dilute ensemble of cold atoms in free fall accrue phase shifts by the application of beamsplitter and mirror laser pulses building up an interferometer roughly analogous to an optical Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

MIGA - Matter-wave laser Interferometer Gravitation Antenna
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At the LP2N in Talence (France), we are working on a prototype to study cavity enhanced atom interferometry with Bragg pulses and Large Momentum Transfer (LMT) thanks to the power build up in the optical cavities.


It consists of a single atom interferometer interrogated by two L = 80 cm long cavities. Atoms (Rubidium 87) are first cooled in two dimensions with a 2D Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT) to load a 3D MOT. They are launched from the 3D MOT on a vertical trajectory using a frequency shift between the upper and lower cooling beams where they experience a sub Doppler cooling to reach a temperature of few μK. A velocity and magnetic selection is performed by 2 Raman pulses. At the apex of their trajectory the atoms enter to the interferometer area where they are interrogated by a π/2 − π − π/2 cavity enhanced Bragg pulses sequence. On their way down, the atoms pass through the detection system, where the populations of both states involved in the interferometer are detected by fluorescence.

The waist of the in-cavity Bragg beams needs to be of the order of several mm to interrogate efficiently the cold-atom clouds and obtain a high interference contrast. To achieve such a large waist in a stable 80-cm-long cavity, we opted for a marginally stable resonator geometry with two plan mirrors located at the focal f = 40 cm point of a biconvex lens which magnifies the beam size at the cavity input.


MIGA - Team Members

Philippe Bouyer

Philippe Bouyer is the deputy director of the institut d'Optique in Bordeaux. He received his doctorate at Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1995 and was then a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford during which he worked on atom interferometer-based inertial sensor experiments. He joined CNRS and the Institut d’Optique Graduate School in 1996, where he worked on atom lasers and Anderson localization with cold atoms. He is the cofounder of MUQUANS, a company selling atomic gravimeters and atomic clocks. His current interests are the study of quantum simulators with ultracold atoms and the development of atom interferometers for testing general relativity in space or detecting gravity fields and gravitational waves underground. He is the recipient of the 2012 Louis D award of the French academy, APS fellow and OSA senior member.


B. Canuel


Andrea Bertoldi


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Post Docs

Dylan O. Sabulsky


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Phd Students

Grégoire Lefèvre

I obtained my master's degree in physics in 2015 at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UMPC) in Paris, France. PhD student at LP2N in Talence, France since october 2015, my research topic consists to develop a single atom interferometer interrogated by cavity enhanced Bragg pulses with the aim to study cavity enhanced atom interferometry in the context of the MIGA project.


Joseph Junca

I'm currently working on quantifying the effects of Newtonian Noise on MIGA.


Xinhao Zhou

PhD Student

I am working on the MIGA prototype


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  • Characterizing Earth gravity field fluctuations with the MIGA antenna for future Gravitational Wave detectors, J. Junca, A. Bertoldi, D. O. Sabulsky, G. Lefèvre, X. Zou, J. -B. Decitre, R. Geiger, A. Landragin, S. Gaffet, P. Bouyer, B. Canuel, arXiv:1902.05337

  • Exploring gravity with the MIGA large scale atom interferometer, B. Canuel, A. Bertoldi, L. Amand, E. Borgo di Pozzo, B. Fang, R. Geiger, J. Gillot, S. Henry, J. Hinderer, D. Holleville, G. Lefèvre, M. Merzougui, N. Mielec, T. Monfret, S. Pelisson, M. Prevedelli, S. Reynaud, I. Riou, Y. Rogister, S. Rosat, E. Cormier, A. Landragin, W. Chaibi, S. Gaffet, P. Bouyer, Nature Scientific Reports 8, 14064 (2018) arXiv:1703.02490

  • Watt-level single-frequency tunable neodymium MOPA fiber laser operating at 915-937 nm, S. Rota-Rodrigo, B. Gouhier, M. Laroche, J. Zhao, B. Canuel, A. Bertoldi, P. Bouyer, N. Traynor, B.Cadier, T. Robin, G. Santarelli, Opt. Lett. 42, 4557-4560 (2017) arXiv:1711.07236

  • Studies of general relativity with quantum sensors, G. Lefevre, G. Condon, I. Riou, L. Chichet, M. Essayeh, M. Rabault, L. Antoni-Micollier, N. Mielec, D. Holleville, L. Amand, R. Geiger, A. Landragin, M. Prevedelli, B. Barrett, B. Battelier, A. Bertoldi, B. Canuel, P. Bouyer, to appear in "Proceedings of the 52nd Rencontres de Moriond on Gravitation". arXiv:1705.10475


  • Atom interferometry in a marginally stable optical resonator, I. Riou, N. Mielec, G. Lefèvre, M. Prevedelli, A. Landragin, P. Bouyer, A. Bertoldi, R. Geiger, and B. Canuel, Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Volume 50, Number 15 (2017). arXiv:1701.01473

Project Newsletter

  • MIGA Newletter, Issue No. 1, August 2015 with a highlight on first atom head installed at LP2N by the SYRTE team

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