Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Atomic magnetometer

United States Patent

July 3, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An atomic magnetometer is disclosed which uses a pump light beam at a D1 or D2 transition of an alkali metal vapor to magnetically polarize the vapor in a heated cell, and a probe light beam at a different D2 or D1 transition to sense the magnetic field via a polarization rotation of the probe light beam. The pump and probe light beams are both directed along substantially the same optical path through an optical waveplate and through the heated cell to an optical filter which blocks the pump light beam while transmitting the probe light beam to one or more photodetectors which generate electrical signals to sense the magnetic field. The optical waveplate functions as a quarter waveplate to circularly polarize the pump light beam, and as a half waveplate to maintain the probe light beam linearly polarized.
Schwindt; Peter (Albuquerque, NM), Johnson; Cort N. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 686,109
January 12, 2010
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.