We report the design and performance of a nonmagnetic drift stable optically pumped cesium magnetometer with a measured sensitivity of 35 fT at 200 s integration time and stability below 50 fT between 70 and 600 s. The sensor is based on the nonlinear magneto-optical rotation effect: in a Bell-Bloom configuration, a higher order polarization moment (alignment) of Cs atoms is created with a pump laser beam in an anti-relaxation coated Pyrex cell under vacuum, filled with Cs vapor at room temperature. The polarization plane of light passing through the cell is modulated due the precession of the atoms in an external magnetic field of 2.1 μT, used to optically determine the Larmor precession frequency. Operation is based on a sequence of optical pumping and observation of freely precessing spins at a repetition rate of 8 Hz. This free precession decay readout scheme separates optical pumping and probing and, thus, ensures a systematically highly clean measurement. Due to the residual offset of the sensor of <15 pT together with negligible crosstalk of adjacent sensors, this device is uniquely suitable for a variety of experiments in low-energy particle physics with extreme precision, here as a highly stable and systematically clean reference probe in search for time-reversal symmetry violating electric dipole moments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)