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An Overview of Atom-Based SI-Traceable Electric-Field Metrology



Joshua A. Gordon, Christopher L. Holloway, Matthew T. Simons


We present an overview of radio frequency (RF) electric-field measurements using Rydberg atoms. This technique exploits the rich resonance response of these atoms which can occur across a large frequency range from 1 GHz-500 GHz. This measurement utilizes alkali atoms such as rubidium and cesium atoms confined in a glass vapor cell that are excited optically by to different lasers to high energy Rydberg states. Once in the Rydberg state the atoms exhibit a significant response to RF fields. The presence of the RF field alters the optical spectrum of the atoms, which can be interrogated to determine the RF field strength. One of the main goals of this work is an atomic standard measurement of RF fields that is intrinsically calibrated, directly linked to the SI and atomic structural constants.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association
Conference Dates
October 30-November 4, 2016
Conference Location
Austin, TX
Conference Title
2016 Antenna Measurement Techniques Association


Electric Field, Rydberg Atoms, Radio Frequency, Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT)


Gordon, J. , Holloway, C. and Simons, M. (2016), An Overview of Atom-Based SI-Traceable Electric-Field Metrology, Proceedings of the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, Austin, TX, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created October 30, 2016, Updated March 22, 2019