A self-sustaining atomic magnetometer with τ−1 averaging property


Quantum measurement using coherent superposition of intrinsic atomic states has the advantage of being absolute measurement and can form metrological standards. One example is the absolute measurement of magnetic field by monitoring the Larmor precession of atomic spins whilst another being the Ramsey type atomic clock. Yet, in almost all coherent quantum measurement, the precision is limited by the coherence time beyond which, the uncertainty decreases only as τ(-1/2). Here we show that by non-destructively measuring the phase of the Larmor precession and regenerating the coherence via optical pumping, the self-sustaining Larmor precession signal can persist indefinitely. Consequently, the precision of the magnetometer increases with time following a much faster τ(-1) rule. A mean sensitivity of 240  from 1 Hz to 10 Hz is realized, being close to the shot noise level. This method of coherence regeneration may also find important applications in improving the performance of atomic clocks.

DOI: 10.1038/srep28169

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@inproceedings{Xu2016ASA, title={A self-sustaining atomic magnetometer with τ−1 averaging property}, author={C. Xu and S. G. Wang and Yan Yong Feng and L. Zhao and Liang Wang}, booktitle={Scientific reports}, year={2016} }