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Broadband Rydberg Atom Based Self-Calibrating RF E-field Probe

Published

Author(s)

Christopher L. Holloway, Joshua A. Gordon, Steven R. Jefferts, Thomas P. Heavner

Abstract

We present a significantly new approach for an electric (E) field probe. The probe is based on the interaction of RF-fields with Rydberg atoms, where alkali atoms are excited optically to Rydberg states and the applied RF-field alters the resonant state of the atoms. For this probe, the Rydberg atoms are placed in a glass vapor cell. This vapor cell acts like an RF-to-optical transducer, converting an RF E field to an optical frequency response. The probe utilizes the concept of Electromagnetic Induced Transition (EIT), where the RF transition in the four-level atomic system causes a split of the transition spectrum for the pump laser. This splitting is easily measured and is directly proportional to the applied RF field amplitude. Therefore, by measuring this splitting we get a direct measurement of the RF E-field strength. The significant dipole response of Rydberg atoms over the GHz regime enables this technique to make traceable measurements over a large frequency band including 1-500 GHz. We will show that, with one probe, measurements can be made over a very large frequency range. This is an essential capability of a truly broadband probe/sensor. In this paper, we will report on our results in the development of this probe.
Conference Dates
August 16-23, 2014
Conference Location
Beijing, -1
Conference Title
2014 XXXIth URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (URSI GASS)

Keywords

e-feild measured, Rydberg atom, Electromagnetic Induced Transparency (EIT)

Citation

Holloway, C. , Gordon, J. , Jefferts, S. and Heavner, T. (2014), Broadband Rydberg Atom Based Self-Calibrating RF E-field Probe, 2014 XXXIth URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (URSI GASS), Beijing, -1, [online], https://doi.org/10.1109/URSIGASS.2014.6929573 (Accessed July 31, 2021)
Created August 16, 2014, Updated January 27, 2020