Phase-sensitive optical spectroscopy of a laser-cooled, microwave atomic clock

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis reports on the experimental characterisation of an optically interrogated microwave frequency reference based on a compact source of cold atoms. The work addresses a method of reducing the complexity of cold-atom systems, plus the phase-sensitive optical interrogation of a microwave transition in rubidium.Laser-cooling has provided the means for many significant developments in precision metrology, but the optical apparatus required is often large and bulky.The grating magneto-optical trap is a promising candidate for the realisation of a field-grade platform, from which we could build a portable atomic clock. The grating-MOT provided 107 rubidium atoms, cooled to sub-Doppler temperatures, as a test-bed for the characterisation of a microwave clock. The microwave interrogation of the ground state frequency splitting was applied optically using Ramsey-like interferometry and coherent population trapping technique in the Lin perpendicular to Lin polarisation scheme. The theory and experimental techniques that were applied in the development of this system are described, and the short-term stability of the unlocked CPT apparatus is presented.
Date of Award27 May 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorPaul Griffin (Supervisor) & Erling Riis (Supervisor)

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