Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Summary

The cooling of atoms to microkelvin temperatures using lasers is currently enabling a new generation of precision instruments that take advantage of the long interaction times and weak environmental coupling.

Description

Compact Cold Atom Clock

Our group develops compact versions of these instruments for use as commercial instruments or in space, where power and volume are limited. These instruments include accurate yet compact atomic clocks and portable atom interferometers for gravimetry and inertial sensing. We also explore innovative advances in laser cooling physics that could enhance the performance of these instruments. For example, we are developing methods of increasing the number of laser-cooled atoms in small capture volumes for signal enhancement and improved stability.

Major Accomplishments

Novel Laser Cooling for Sensor Applications

M. Shuker, J. W. Pollock, R. Boudot, V. I. Yudin, A. V. Taichenachev, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Reduction of light shifts in Ramsey spectroscopy with a combined error signal," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 114, no. 14, p. 141106, 2019.

M. Shuker, J. W. Pollock, R. Boudot, V. I. Yudin, A. V. Taichenachev, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Ramsey Spectroscopy with Displaced Frequency Jumps," Physical Review Letters, vol. 122, p. 113601, 2019.

S. Kang, K. R. Moore, J. P. McGilligan, R. Mott, A. Mis, C. Roper, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "A magneto-optic trap using a reversible, solid-state alkali-metal source," Optics Letters, vol. 44, no. 12, p. 3002, 2019.

Y.-J. Chen, A. Hansen, G. W. Hoth, E. Ivanov, B. Pelle, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Single-Source Multiaxis Cold-Atom Interferometer in a Centimeter-Scale Cell," Physical Review Applied, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 014019, 2019.

V. I. Yudin, A. V. Taichenachev, M. Y. Basalaev, T. Zanon-Willette, J. W. Pollock, M. Shuker, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Generalized auto-balanced Ramsey spectroscopy of clock transitions," Physical Review Applied, vol. 9, p. 054034, 2018.

V. I. Yudin, A. V. Taichenachev, M. Y. Basalaev, T. Zanon-Willette, T. E. Mehlstäubler, R. Boudot, J. W. Pollock, M. Shuker, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Combined error signal in Ramsey spectroscopy of clock transitions," New Journal of Physics, vol. 20, no. 12, p. 123016, 2018.

J. W. Pollock, V. I. Yudin, M. Shuker, M. Y. Basalaev, A. V. Taichenachev, X. Liu, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "ac Stark shifts of dark resonances probed with Ramsey spectroscopy," Physical Review A, vol. 98, no. 5, p. 053424, 2018.

X. Liu, V. I. Yudin, A. V. Taichenachev, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Ultra-high contrast coherent population trapping resonances in a cold-atom microwave clock," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 111, p. 224102, 2017.

X. Liu, E. Ivanov, V. I. Yudin, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "High-Performance Coherent Population Trapping Clock Based on Laser-Cooled Atoms," Physical Review Applied, vol. 8, p. 054001, 2017.

G. W. Hoth, B. Pelle, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Analytical Tools for Point Source Interferometry," in Proc. SPIE 10119, Slow Light, Fast Light, and Opto-Atomic Precision Metrology X, San Francisco, 2017, p. 1011908

G. W. Hoth, B. Pelle, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Trade-offs in Size and Performance for a Point Source Interferometer Gyroscope," in IEEE Inertial Sensors, Lihue, HI, 2017

S. Riedl, G. W. Hoth, B. Pelle, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Compact atom-interferometer gyroscope based on an expanding ball of atoms," Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 723, p. 012058, 2016

G. W. Hoth, B. Pelle, S. Riedl, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "Point source atom interferometry with a cloud of finite size," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 109, p. 071113, 2016

E. Blanshan, S. M. Rochester, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Light shifts in a pulsed cold-atom coherent population trapping clock," Physical Review A, vol. 91, p. 041401(R), 2015

E.A. Donley, E. Blanshan, F.-X. Esnault, and J. Kitching, "Frequency Biases in a Cold-Atom Coherent Population Trapping Clock," Proc. 2014 IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp., 2014

F.-X. Esnault, E. Blanshan, E.N. Ivanov, R.E. Scholten, E.A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Cold-atom double-lambda coherent population trapping clock," Phys. Rev. A., pp. 042120-1 - 042120-5, 2013

E.A. Donley, F.-X. Esnault, E. Blanshan, and J. Kitching, "Cancellation of Doppler Shifts in a Cold-Atom CPT Clock," 2013 Joint UFFC, EFTF and PFM Symposium, 2013

G. W. Hoth, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Atom number in magneto-optic traps with millimeter scale laser beams," Opt. Lett. 38, pp. 661-663, 2013

T.C. Liebisch, E. Blanshan, E.A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Atom-number amplification in a magneto-optical trap via stimulated light forces," Phys. Rev. A 85, pp. 013407-4, 2012

T.C. Liebisch, E. Blanshan, E.A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "MOT loading enhancement with stimulated light forces," Proc. 2011 Joint Mtg. IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp. and EFTF Conf., pp. 808-810, 2011.

E. A. Donley, T. C. Liebisch, E. Blanshan, and J. Kitching, "Number enhancement for compact laser-cooled atomic samples by use of stimulated radiation forces," Proc. 2010 IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp., pp. 125-128, 2010

F.-X. Esnault, E. Blanshan, E. N. Ivanov, R. E. Scholten, J. Kitching, and E. A. Donley, "A cold-atom double-lambda CPT clock," Phys. Rev. A 88, pp. 042120-1 - 042120-5, 2013

E. A. Donley, F.-X. Esnault, E. Blanshan, and J. Kitching, "A cold-atom clock based on coherent population trapping," Proceedings of the 44th annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Reston, VA, pp. 327-333, 2012

F.-X. Esnault, J. Kitching , and E. A. Donley, "A compact cold-atom frequency standard based on coherent population trapping," Proc. 2012 IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp., Baltimore, MD, pp. 697-699, 2012

F.-X. Esnault, E.A. Donley, J. Kitching, and E.N. Ivanov, "Status of a compact cold-atom CPT frequency standard," Proc. 2011 Joint Mtg. IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp. and EFTF Conf., pp. 612-614, 2011

E. N. Ivanov, F.-X. Esnault, and E. A. Donley, "Offset phase locking of noisy diode lasers aided by frequency division," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82, pp. 083110-1 - 083110-8, 2011

F.-X. Esnault, E. A. Donley, and J. Kitching, "Towards a compact cold atom frequency standard based on coherent population trapping," Proc. 2010 IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp., pp. 465-469, 2010

Created March 20, 2013, Updated October 2, 2019