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For interference experiments with molecules it is especially important to shield the experiment from vibrations. The interference pattern shows fine structures of only 100 nano meters. If the experiment is moved during the measurement for some nano meters only, the interference pattern will blur out and its visibility will drop.
Therefore, several measures are taken to avoid vibrations.
- The whole experiment is set up on an optical table weighing tons on to which it is tightly fixed.
- The optical table floats on vibration-reducing table legs that actively countersteer arising vibrations with compressed air. These special table legs need to be supplied with pressurized air from a compressor.
- The vacuum pumps are attached to the vacuum chambers with vibration-reducing rubber elements.
- All elements generating vibrations that are close to the experiment have to be turned off during the measurements. The rotation of the chopper wheel or the air filter can have a strong impact on the interferometric visibility.
Experimental challenge: Vibration isolation
Go to the laboratory and follow the instructions. Once you have accomplished your task, continue here.