Synchronous optical pumping of quantum revival beats for atomic magnetometry

S. J. Seltzer, P. J. Meares, M. V. Romalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We observe quantum beats with periodic revivals due to nonlinear spacing of Zeeman levels in the ground state of potassium atoms, and demonstrate their synchronous optical pumping by double modulation of the pumping light at the Larmor frequency and the revival frequency. We show that synchronous pumping increases the degree of spin polarization by a factor of 4. As a practical example, we explore the application of this double-modulation technique to atomic magnetometers operating in the geomagnetic field range, and find that it can increase the sensitivity and reduce magnetic-field-orientation-dependent measurement errors endemic to alkali-metal magnetometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051407
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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