Optical Measurements of Strong Microwave Fields with Rydberg Atoms in a Vapor Cell

Published: April 01, 2016


Christopher L. Holloway


We demonstrate an approach for electric-field measurements of high power radiation sources with a room temperature Rydberg-atom gas. We present strong-field measurements of microwaves tuned near the two photon 65D5=2−66D5=2 Rydberg transition in rubidium for a field strength reaching 233 V/m, about 20% of the microwave ionization threshold, and compare it to a weak- field measurement of millimeter-wave radiation. A Floquet treatment is used to model the Rydberg level energies and their excitation rates, which are in excellent agreement with the observed spectra. Our Floquet maps reveal the existence of level crossings and spectral features in strong fields that readily enable traceable electric field measurements of high power radiation sources to high precision. The effects of field inhomogeneities in the measurements are also discussed.
Citation: Physical Review Applied
Pub Type: Journals

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Rydberg atoms, high-power, electrical-field measurements, atom-based metrology, EIT
Created April 01, 2016, Updated November 14, 2017