2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
Welcome to the 2019 CAP Congress Program website! / Bienvenue au siteweb du programme du Congrès de l'ACP 2019 !

48 - Building a Portable, Cold-Atom Pressure Standard

Jun 4, 2019, 5:11 PM
SWH 9082 + AQ South-East Corner / coin sud-est (Simon Fraser University)

SWH 9082 + AQ South-East Corner / coin sud-est

Simon Fraser University

Poster not-in-competition (Undergraduate Student) / Affiche non-compétitive (Étudiant(e) du 1er cycle) Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Canada / Division de la physique atomique, moléculaire et photonique, Canada (DAMOPC-DPAMPC) DAMOPC Poster Session & Student Poster Competition Finals (26) | Session d'affiches DPAMPC et finales du concours d'affiches étudiantes (26)


Perrin Waldock (UFV)


Vacuum measurement plays a central role in a wide range of scientific and industrial applications including residual gas analysis, semi-conductor device manufacture, and atmospheric modeling. Remarkably, no primary pressure standard existed for the high (HV) and ultra-high vacuum (UHV) regime (below 10−7 Pa) until recently. In 2018, a UBC and BCIT collaboration succeeded in producing the first primary pressure standard for HV and UHV. Based on a cold-atom sensor, this new technique for particle detection requires no calibration and relies on immutable laws of nature - specifically, the interaction potentials between atoms and molecules. The existing cold-atom standard is immobile and the size of several refrigerators; to see wide use and to promote worldwide adoption, an apparatus must be shippable, and usable in non-ideal conditions by non-experts. To realize this, we are assembling a miniaturized version of the apparatus, that will be robust to vibrations, mechanical shock, and temperature changes. We will also investigate methods of automatically operating and re-calibrating the apparatus. This device will allow us to disseminate the cold-atom pressure standard worldwide starting with a plan to compare the cold atom primary standard with an existing secondary pressure standard (based on orifice-flow) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This work will also lay the groundwork for the construction of commercial absolute pressure standards.

Primary author

Perrin Waldock (UFV)


Prof. Kirk Madison (UBC) Pinrui Shen (University of British Columbia Physics Department) James Booth (BCIT)

Presentation materials