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High-accuracy wavemeter based on a stabilized diode laser
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5.a wavelength meter based on this design was made commercially available by NIST in the 1980s.
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7.We obtain better than 90% fringe contrast even though our beamsplitter is close to 60/40. The other output beam has perfect contrast only if the beamsplitter is exactly 50/50. However, as discussed later, this beam is useful in reducing systematic errors by ensuring that the unknown beam is parallel to the reference.
8.Collisional broadening at the gas pressure in the Rb vapor cell is estimated to be and the linewidth of the laser has been independently measured to be
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11.The calculated error from missing one fringe over a distance of 25 cm is about at 780 nm. The measured error is smaller because we are measuring a wavelength ratio very close to 1, and chances are high that either both counters see a zero crossing or miss it. In fact, if we try to measure a ratio of exactly 1 by locking both lasers to the same transition, we get a bimodal distribution in the measured ratios: 1.000 000 0 most of the time and occasionally 1.000 000 8, which corresponds to one extra fringe counted by the second detector. That is why we have chosen to measure a test ratio of 1.000 007 66 where the distribution is Gaussian.
12.Ideally, the unknown beam should enter exactly where the reference beam exits so that both beams traverse exactly the same path in opposite directions. However, this causes one laser to feed into the other and destabilize it. Therefore, we align the beams with a small offset and check for parallelism over a finite distance.
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