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Proceedings Paper

Applications of the atomic candle: accessing low-frequency amplitude variations via an atomic time interval
Author(s): James Camparo
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Paper Abstract

Just as it is possible to stabilize the frequency of an electromagnetic field to an atomic resonance between energy eigenstates, so too is it possible to stabilize the amplitude (or 'brightness') of a field to atomic parametric resonances, the so-called Rabi-resonances. For ease of reference, and by analogy to the atomic clock, we have coined the term 'atomic candle' for this quantum-mechanical, amplitude-stabilization system. Though the atomic candle was originally developed to stabilize microwave power in gas-cell atomic clocks, thereby eliminating a source of timekeeping instability in these devices, the atomic candle's applications extend well beyond the area of precise timekeeping. Basically, the atomic-candle provides a means for detecting and controlling subtle amplitude changes in electromagnetic fields at very low Fourier frequencies (i.e., f < 0.1 Hz). In the present work, we discuss a number of atomic candle applications: laser stabilization, absorption/refractive-index measurements, observations of cavity mode stability over very long time scales (i.e., 50 days), and measurements of low-frequency absorption/scattering fluctuations along a propagation path.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 May 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5111, Fluctuations and Noise in Photonics and Quantum Optics, (16 May 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.497474
Show Author Affiliations
James Camparo, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5111:
Fluctuations and Noise in Photonics and Quantum Optics
Derek Abbott; Jeffrey H. Shapiro; Yoshihisa Yamamoto, Editor(s)

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