Entanglement is a fundamental resource that allows quantum sensors to surpass the standard quantum limit set by the quantum collapse of independent atoms. Collective cavity-QED systems have succeeded in generating large amounts of directly observed entanglement involving the internal degrees of freedom of laser-cooled atomic ensembles. Here we demonstrate cavity-QED entanglement of external degrees of freedom to realize a matter-wave interferometer of 700 atoms in which each individual atom falls freely under gravity and simultaneously traverses two paths through space while also entangled with the other atoms. We demonstrate both quantum non-demolition measurements and cavity-mediated spin interactions for generating squeezed momentum states with directly observed metrological gain 3.4+1.1−0.9 dB and 2.5+0.6−0.6 dB below the standard quantum limit respectively. An entangled state is successfully injected into a Mach-Zehnder light-pulse interferometer with 1.7+0.5−0.5 dB of directly observed metrological enhancement. These results open a new path for combining particle delocalization and entanglement for inertial sensors, searches for new physics, particles, and fields, future advanced gravitational wave detectors, and accessing beyond mean-field quantum many-body physics.

}, year = {2022}, journal = {Nature}, volume = {610}, pages = {472-477}, month = {2022-10}, url = {https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05197-9}, doi = {10.1038/s41586-022-05197-9}, }