Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Differential Atomic Magnetometry Based on a Diverging Laser Beam

Published

Author(s)

Eleanor Hodby, Elizabeth A. Donley, John E. Kitching

Abstract

We demonstrate a novel atomic magnetometer that uses differential detection of the spatially diverging components of a light field to monitor the Larmor precession frequency of atoms in a thermal vapor. The design is implemented in compact form with a micromachined alkali vapor cell and a naturally divergent light field emitted by a vertical cavity surface emitting laser, which serves to both optically pump the atoms and measure the transverse polarization. Operating the magnetometer in differential mode cancels common-mode noise and improves the sensitivity by a factor of 26 over single-channel operation. We also suggest ways in which the current sensitivity of 28\,pT/$\surd$Hz may be improved further without sacrificing size or simplicity.
Citation
Physical Review Letters
Volume
91
Issue
011109

Keywords

alkali atoms, atomic magnetometer, chip scale devices, differential detection, diverging beam, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), optical pumping

Citation

Hodby, E. , Donley, E. and Kitching, J. (2007), Differential Atomic Magnetometry Based on a Diverging Laser Beam, Physical Review Letters, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=50501 (Accessed June 22, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created July 3, 2007, Updated February 17, 2017