We demonstrate that the Brownian motion of alkali metal atoms in buffer gas gives rise to a significant source of frequency instability in vapor cell clocks. We consider, in particular, laser pumped cell devices working in pulsed operation and using a resonant Gaussian light beam to detect the clock transition. It is well known that the diffusion motion through the buffer gas results from many random walks performed by the atoms, as a consequence of the collisions with other atoms/molecules. Owing to this random-walk behavior, the atoms explore different intensity regions of the Gaussian laser beam, reducing the forward light transmission and causing amplitude fluctuations at the photodetector. The contribution of this so called transit noise to the clock frequency stability turns out in the low 10(-14)region for a centimeter-scale cell, at the same level of other amplitude noises, like laser relative intensity noise and shot noise. As a consequence, even if it is not the main source of instability in currently used vapor cell clocks, Brownian motion-induced noise represents a novel source of frequency fluctuations and it should be accounted for in the clock stability budget. A preliminary evaluation of the transit noise is also reported for microcell devices.

Brownian motion-induced amplitude noise in vapor-cell frequency standards / Micalizio, S; Godone, A; Gozzelino, M; Levi, F. - In: NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS. - ISSN 1367-2630. - 22:8(2020), p. 083050. [10.1088/1367-2630/aba464]

Brownian motion-induced amplitude noise in vapor-cell frequency standards

Micalizio, S;Godone, A;Gozzelino, M;Levi, F
2020

Abstract

We demonstrate that the Brownian motion of alkali metal atoms in buffer gas gives rise to a significant source of frequency instability in vapor cell clocks. We consider, in particular, laser pumped cell devices working in pulsed operation and using a resonant Gaussian light beam to detect the clock transition. It is well known that the diffusion motion through the buffer gas results from many random walks performed by the atoms, as a consequence of the collisions with other atoms/molecules. Owing to this random-walk behavior, the atoms explore different intensity regions of the Gaussian laser beam, reducing the forward light transmission and causing amplitude fluctuations at the photodetector. The contribution of this so called transit noise to the clock frequency stability turns out in the low 10(-14)region for a centimeter-scale cell, at the same level of other amplitude noises, like laser relative intensity noise and shot noise. As a consequence, even if it is not the main source of instability in currently used vapor cell clocks, Brownian motion-induced noise represents a novel source of frequency fluctuations and it should be accounted for in the clock stability budget. A preliminary evaluation of the transit noise is also reported for microcell devices.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11696/65366
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