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Proceedings Paper

Laser optical pumping in Rb vapour-cell atomic clocks
Author(s): Gaetano Mileti; C. Affolderbach
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Paper Abstract

We discuss the basic physical principles of laser optical pumping double-resonance spectroscopy, which form the basis of state-of-the-art vapour-cell atomic frequency standards using laser optical pumping of Rb atoms. The main effects limiting the frequency stability of Rb vapour-cell atomic clocks are identified, and their impact on the development of high-performance frequency standars and their transfer from research laboratories to industry and space is discussed. As examples, the impact of the AC stark effect and the realated issue of laser frequency stabilisation are dealt with in more detail. The main features of the present state-of-the-art Rb atomic frequency standards will be illustrated using the example of the development of atomic clocks for satellite navigation and positioning systems (GPS, GLONAS, GALILEO, etc.) as well as some directions for further improvements that could overcome present day limitations. Such compact Rb clocks find their applications in, for example, telecommunications, local timekeeping and synchronisation, and space applications like satellite navigation and science missions. An overview of other, alternative clock schemes is given and critical issues for future developments towards further performance improvement or device miniaturisation in the field of vapour-cell atomic clocks are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 April 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5830, 13th International School on Quantum Electronics: Laser Physics and Applications, (22 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617754
Show Author Affiliations
Gaetano Mileti, Observatoire Cantonal de Neuchatel (Switzerland)
C. Affolderbach, Observatoire Cantonal de Neuchatel (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5830:
13th International School on Quantum Electronics: Laser Physics and Applications
Peter A. Atanasov; Sanka V. Gateva; Lachezar A. Avramov; Alexander A. Serafetinides, Editor(s)

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