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Interferometric measurement of the resonant absorption and refractive index in rubidium gas
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View: Figures


Image of Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Plot of the absorption and refractive index change for a gas near an atomic resonance (arbitrary units).

Image of Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

The basic experimental setup, consisting of a rubidium vapor cell in one arm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The dotted lines represent 50:50 beamsplitters. The input laser scans across a (Doppler broadened) rubidium absorption line.

Image of Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Photodiode output versus , where for a perfect Mach-Zehnder interferometer with no rubidium cell at fixed laser frequency.

Image of Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Optical layout for the experiment. The ND 2 filter has transmission and is in place to keep the atomic transition from saturating. The negative lens broadens the beam, making the interference fringes more visible.

Image of Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

A single-sweep oscilloscope trace showing the interferometer output as a function of time as a folding mirror was being gently wiggled back and forth. Traces like the one shown here were used to check the alignment of the interferometer and to make sure the fringe contrast defect was small.

Image of Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Top trace: Absorption of a laser beam passing through a rubidium vapor cell, as the laser scans across the rubidium absorption lines near . The first and last absorption dips are from and the middle two are from . Bottom trace: Light intensity transmitted through a confocal Fabry-Perot cavity with an effective free-spectral range of .

Image of Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Interferometer output as a function of laser frequency and interferometer phase with a rubidium cell temperature of . The scan was centered on the third absorption feature seen in Fig. 6. The theory plots were generated using a single value of , which was adjusted to match the experimental curves. The absorption plot at the top left was taken with one arm of the interferometer blocked. Curves A–D refer to the phase points labeled in Fig. 3. We obtained overall good qualitative agreement between experiment and theory, especially near the line center. At the edges of the scans the data are corrupted by contamination from nearby absorption features (which were not included in the theoretical curves). Note that goes to 0.25 at the line center, because the beam incident on the rubidium cell is almost completely blocked by absorption.

Image of Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Same as Fig. 7, but with a rubidium cell temperature of and .

Image of Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

Same as Fig. 7, but with a rubidium cell temperature of and .


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752b84549af89a08dbdd7fdb8b9568b5 journal.articlezxybnytfddd
Scitation: Interferometric measurement of the resonant absorption and refractive index in rubidium gas