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Sensing short range forces with a nanosphere matter-wave interferometer
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We describe a method for sensing short range forces using matter-wave interference in dielectric nanospheres. When compared with atom interferometers, the larger mass of the nanosphere results in reduced wave-packet expansion, enabling investigations of forces nearer to surfaces in a free-fall interferometer. By laser cooling a nanosphere to the ground state of an optical potential and releasing it by turning off the optical trap, acceleration sensing at the 10(-8) m/s(2) level is possible. The approach can yield improved sensitivity to Yukawa-type deviations from Newtonian gravity at the 5 mu m length scale by a factor of 10(4) over current limits.