Atomic magnetometer

Patent Number: 8,212,556
Issued: 7/3/2012
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: An atomic magnetometer is disclosed which uses a pump light beam at a D1 or D2 transition of an alkali metal vapor to magnetically polarize the vapor in a heated cell, and a probe light beam at a different D2 or D1 transition to sense the magnetic field via a polarization rotation of the probe light beam. The pump and probe light beams are both directed along substantially the same optical path through an optical waveplate and through the heated cell to an optical filter which blocks the pump light beam while transmitting the probe light beam to one or more photodetectors which generate electrical signals to sense the magnetic field. The optical waveplate functions as a quarter waveplate to circularly polarize the pump light beam, and as a half waveplate to maintain the probe light beam linearly polarized.
Filed: 1/12/2010
Application Number: 12/686,109
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.