Abstract:
This contribution is an update of a previous presentation of 5D matter- wave optics and interferometry with a correction of some algebraic errors. Electromagnetic interactions are explicitly added in the 5D metric tensor in complete analogy with Kaluza's work. The 5D Lagrangian is rederived and an expression for the Hamiltonian suitable for the parabolic approximation is presented. The corresponding equations of motion are also given. The 5D action is shown to cancel for the actual trajectory which is a null geodesics of the 5D metric. This presentation is mainly devoted to the classical aspects of the theory and only general consequences for the quantum phase of matter-waves are outlined. The application to Bord\'e- Ramsey interferometers is given as an illustration.

Abstract:
The dynamical equations which are basic for the description of the dynamics of quantum felds in arbitrary space--time geometries, can be derived from the requirements of a unique deterministic evolution of the quantum fields, the superposition principle, a finite propagation speed, and probability conservation. We suggest and describe observations and experiments which are able to test the unique deterministic evolution and analyze given experimental data from which restrictions of anomalous terms violating this basic principle can be concluded. One important point is, that such anomalous terms are predicted from loop gravity as well as from string theories. Most accurate data can be obtained from future astrophysical observations. Also, laboratory tests like spectroscopy give constraints on the anomalous terms.

Abstract:
We present a second-quantized field theory of massive spin one-half particles or antiparticles in the presence of a weak gravitational field treated as a spin two external field in a flat Minkowski background. We solve the difficulties which arise from the derivative coupling and we are able to introduce an interaction picture. We derive expressions for the scattering amplitude and for the outgoing spinor to first-order. In several appendices, the link with the canonical approach in General Relativity is established and a generalized stationary phase method is used to calculate the outgoing spinor. We show how our expressions can be used to calculate and discuss phase shifts in the context of matter-wave interferometry (especially atom or antiatom interferometry). In this way, many effects are introduced in a unified relativistic framework, including spin-gravitation terms: gravitational red shift, Thomas precession, Sagnac effect, spin-rotation effect, orbital and spin Lense-Thirring effects, de Sitter geodetic precession and finally the effect of gravitational waves. A new analogy with the electromagnetic interaction is pointed out.

Abstract:
We develop a unified theory for clocks and gravimeters using the interferences of multiple atomic waves put in levitation by traveling light pulses. Inspired by optical methods, we exhibit a propagation invariant, which enables to derive analytically the wave function of the sample scattering on the light pulse sequence. A complete characterization of the device sensitivity with respect to frequency or to acceleration measurements is obtained. These results agree with previous numerical simulations and confirm the conjecture of sensitivity improvement through multiple atomic wave interferences. A realistic experimental implementation for such clock architecture is discussed.

Abstract:
In this paper, we present significant progress performed on an experiment dedicated to the determination of the Boltzmann constant, k, by accurately measuring the Doppler absorption profile of a line in a gas of ammonia at thermal equilibrium. This optical method based on the first principles of statistical mechanics is an alternative to the acoustical method which has led to the unique determination of k published by the CODATA with a relative accuracy of 1.7 ppm. We report on the first measurement of the Boltzmann constant by laser spectroscopy with a statistical uncertainty below 10 ppm, more specifically 6.4 ppm. This progress results from improvements in the detection method and in the statistical treatment of the data. In addition, we have recorded the hyperfine structure of the probed saQ(6,3) rovibrational line of ammonia by saturation spectroscopy and thus determine very precisely the induced 4.36 (2) ppm broadening of the absorption linewidth. We also show that, in our well chosen experimental conditions, saturation effects have a negligible impact on the linewidth. Finally, we draw the route to future developments for an absolute determination of with an accuracy of a few ppm.

Abstract:
The computation of the phase shift in a symmetric atom interferometer in the presence of a gravitational field is reviewed. The difference of action-phase integrals between the two paths of the interferometer is zero for any Lagrangian which is at most quadratic in position and velocity. We emphasize that in a large class of theories of gravity the atom interferometer permits a test of the weak version of the equivalence principle (or universality of free fall) by comparing the acceleration of atoms with that of ordinary bodies, but is insensitive to that aspect of the equivalence principle known as the gravitational redshift or universality of clock rates.

Abstract:
Atom interferometers allow the measurement of the acceleration of freely falling atoms with respect to an experimental platform at rest on Earth's surface. Such experiments have been used to test the universality of free fall by comparing the acceleration of the atoms to that of a classical freely falling object. In a recent paper, M\"uller, Peters and Chu [Nature {\bf 463}, 926-929 (2010)] argued that atom interferometers also provide a very accurate test of the gravitational redshift (or universality of clock rates). Considering the atom as a clock operating at the Compton frequency associated with the rest mass, they claimed that the interferometer measures the gravitational redshift between the atom-clocks in the two paths of the interferometer at different values of gravitational potentials. In the present paper we analyze this claim in the frame of general relativity and of different alternative theories, and conclude that the interpretation of atom interferometers as testing the gravitational redshift at the Compton frequency is unsound. The present work is a summary of our extensive paper [Wolf et al., arXiv:1012.1194, Class. Quant. Grav. 28, 145017, (2011)], to which the reader is referred for more details.

Abstract:
Atom interferometers allow the measurement of the acceleration of freely falling atoms with respect to an experimental platform at rest on Earth's surface. Such experiments have been used to test the universality of free fall by comparing the acceleration of the atoms to that of a classical freely falling object. In a recent paper, M\"uller, Peters and Chu [Nature {\bf 463}, 926-929 (2010)] argued that atom interferometers also provide a very accurate test of the gravitational redshift when considering the atom as a clock operating at the Compton frequency associated with the rest mass. We analyze this claim in the frame of general relativity and of different alternative theories. We show that the difference of "Compton phases" between the two paths of the interferometer is actually zero in a large class of theories, including general relativity, all metric theories of gravity, most non-metric theories and most theoretical frameworks used to interpret the violations of the equivalence principle. Therefore, in most plausible theoretical frameworks, there is no redshift effect and atom interferometers only test the universality of free fall. We also show that frameworks in which atom interferometers would test the redshift pose serious problems, such as (i) violation of the Schiff conjecture, (ii) violation of the Feynman path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and of the principle of least action for matter waves, (iii) violation of energy conservation, and more generally (iv) violation of the particle-wave duality in quantum mechanics. Standard quantum mechanics is no longer valid in such frameworks, so that a consistent interpretation of the experiment would require an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics. As such an alternative has not been proposed to date, we conclude that the interpretation of atom interferometers as testing the gravitational redshift is unsound.

Abstract:
Hohensee, Chu, Peters and M\"uller have submitted a comment (arXiv:1112.6039 [gr-qc]) on our paper "Does an atom interferometer test the gravitational redshift at the Compton frequency?", Classical and Quantum Gravity 28, 145017 (2011), arXiv:1009.2485 [gr-qc]. Here we reply to this comment and show that the main result of our paper, namely that atom interferometric gravimeters do not test the gravitational redshift at the Compton frequency, remains valid.

Abstract:
We have recorded the Doppler profile of a well-isolated rovibrational line in the \nu2 band of 14NH3. Ammonia gas was placed in an absorption cell thermalized by a water-ice bath. By extrapolating to zero pressure, we have deduced the Doppler width which gives a first measurement of the Boltzmann constant, kB, by laser spectroscopy. A relative uncertainty of 2x10-4 has been obtained. The present determination should be significantly improved in the near future and contribute to a new definition of the kelvin.