Although undergraduate physics majors are introduced to concepts such as the fluctuation-dissipation theorem in statistical mechanics courses, they are almost never presented with a situation (with the possible exception of Johnson noise) in which useful information is extracted from a noise measurement. The experiment presented here demonstrates how detailed spectroscopic information about an atomic system can be extracted from a noise spectrum. The experiment is essentially a noise-based analog to the popular optical pumping experiment already present in many undergraduate laboratories. In this case, Faraday rotation is used to probe spin fluctuations of a gas of alkali atoms in thermal equilibrium in a small magnetic field. The demonstration will focus on Rb-85 and Rb-87, for which the low-field spectrum in a magnetic field is described by the Breit-Rabi formalism. Transitions between Zeeman-split hyperfine levels can be observed as peaks in the noise spectrum of the Faraday rotation signal, which is read out by a fast digitizer card and then Fourier-transformed. The experiment provides an excellent introduction to atomic physics, noise measurements, and signal processing.
University of Minnesota. Spin Noise Spectroscopy in Rb Vapor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, August 1, 2014. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13825&DocID=4243 (accessed 26 April 2017).
%0 Electronic Source %D August 1, 2014 %T Spin Noise Spectroscopy in Rb Vapor %I University of Minnesota %V 2017 %N 26 April 2017 %8 August 1, 2014 %9 application/pdf %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13825&DocID=4243
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