Laser PM to AM Conversion in Atomic Vapors and Short Term Clock Stability
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS
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The optical thick vapors employed in gas cell atomic clocks provide for very efficient conversion of laser phase noise PM to amplitude noise AM. Here, we discuss the role of PM to AM conversion in determining gas cell clock performance. First, a brief overview of the PM to AM conversion process will be given, highlighting the fact that laser phase noise creates fluctuations in the atoms optical absorption cross section, which have an exponential influence on the lasers transmitted intensity. Experimental results will then be presented showing that the PM to AM conversion process can increase the relative intensity noise of transmitted laser light by orders of magnitude, and that this can, under certain conditions, cause laser pumped clock performance to be poorer than lamp pumped clock performance.
- Lasers and Masers
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods