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Self-Calibrating Vector Atomic Magnetometry through Microwave Polarization Reconstruction

TitleSelf-Calibrating Vector Atomic Magnetometry through Microwave Polarization Reconstruction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsThiele, T, Lin, Y, Brown, MO, Regal, CA
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Date Published2018-10

Atomic magnetometry is one of the most sensitive ways to measure magnetic fields. We present a method for converting a naturally scalar atomic magnetometer into a vector magnetometer by exploiting the polarization dependence of hyperfine transitions in rubidium atoms. First, we fully determine the polarization ellipse of an applied microwave field using a self-calibrating method, i.e., a method in which the light-atom interaction provides everything required to know the field in an orthogonal laboratory frame. We then measure the direction of an applied static field using the polarization ellipse as a threedimensional reference defined by Maxwell’s equations. Although demonstrated with trapped atoms, this technique could be applied to atomic vapors, or a variety of atomlike systems.


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