Low-noise high-density alkali-metal scalar magnetometer

S. J. Smullin, I. M. Savukov, G. Vasilakis, R. K. Ghosh, M. V. Romalis

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76 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present an experimental and theoretical study of a scalar atomic magnetometer using an oscillating field-driven Zeeman resonance in a high-density optically pumped potassium vapor. We describe an experimental implementation of an atomic gradiometer with a noise level below 10 fT Hz-1/2, fractional field sensitivity below 10-9 Hz-1/2, and an active measurement volume of about 1.5 cm3. We show that the fundamental field sensitivity of a scalar magnetometer is determined by the rate of alkali-metal spin-exchange collisions even though the resonance linewidth can be made much smaller than the spin-exchange rate by pumping most atoms into a stretched spin state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033420
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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