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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|State||Published - Sep 29 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics