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Progress Update of Laser-Cooled Rubidium Clock

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[Technical Report, Memorandum Report]

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We are developing a cold rubidium clock that will use the quantum entanglement technique of spin squeezing to measure a clock signal to better precision than a conventional non-entangled measurement. As a first step, we assembled and validated a laser cooling and trapping scheme to interrogate a cloud of rubidium atoms. In this report, we discuss our work characterizing the initial experimental setup, which is built around a commercial magneto-optical trap that uses magnetic fields and our laser scheme to collect the atoms. Over the course of several months we refined the laser cooling and trapping frequencies, laser powers, associated optics, and electronics. We report an atom loading time as low as 0.5 s and a trap number of several billion rubidium atoms. This is comparable to reported parameters in similar rubidium systems and demonstrates a critical step in developing a cold atom clock. We conclude with an outline of the envisioned next stage of the experiment, where we will demonstrate a baseline clock signal and upgrade the trap apparatus with a custom science chamber.

Subject Categories:

  • Quantum Theory and Relativity

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]