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Spherical Reference Cavities for Ultra-Stable Lasers in Non-Laboratory Environments



David R. Leibrandt, Michael J. Thorpe, Mark Notcutt, Robert E. Drullinger, Till P. Rosenband, James C. Bergquist


We present an ultra-stable optical cavity design that is insensitive to both vibrations and orientation. The design is based on a spherical cavity spacer which is held rigidly at two points on a diameter of the sphere. Coupling of the support forces to the cavity length is eliminated by holding the sphere at a ``squeeze insensitive angle'' with respect to the optical axis. Finite element analysis is used to calculate the acceleration sensitivity of the spherical cavity for the ideal geometry ($\le 4(2) \times 10^{-12}$/g for accelerations in any direction) as well as for several varieties of fabrication errors. The spherical cavity acceleration sensitivity is measured with an initial version of the cavity mount to be $4.0(5) \times 10^{-11}$/g, $1.6(3) \times 10^{-10}$/g, and $3.1(1) \times 10^{-10}$/g for accelerations along the vertical and two horizontal directions. This low acceleration sensitivity combined with the orientation insensitivity that comes with a rigid mount indicates that this cavity design could be used for ultra-stable lasers in a non-laboratory environment.
Optics Express


Laser stabilization, optical resonators, vibration analysis
Created February 14, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017