Stable and ultra-stable laser systems for a mobile strontium optical clock

Swierad, Dariusz Tadeusz (2018). Stable and ultra-stable laser systems for a mobile strontium optical clock. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis presents a realisation of the most demanding laser systems for a mobile strontium optical clock. First, stable 689 nm cooling lasers are presented: an amplified semiconductor diode laser and a prototype of the semiconductor disc laser (SDL/VECSEL). The first was stabilised to a novel miniaturised multi-laser frequency stabilisation system that allows to stabilise all the six lasers used in the strontium optical clock. The latter was used for the first time in the second-stage cooling of strontium to obtain a cold cloud of trapped atoms.
An atomic optical clock requires a laser oscillator for interrogating the clock transition. This thesis presents the construction and discusses the performance of the cutting-edge ultra-stable interrogation lasers at 698 nm. One of the systems is a stationary system based at the University of Birmingham, with the instability of \(5\times10^{-15}\). A mobile version of the interrogation laser is also presented and characterised in this work. The laser reaches instability of \(8\times10^{-16}\), which is one of the best results for a mobile system. The mobile laser is a part of the space optical clock project (SOC2), in which a record-low instability for the bosonic strontium was observed of \(<4\times10^{-16}/\sqrt{\tau}\).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: European Commission
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics


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