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Advanced Physics Laboratories

       
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Optical Pumping

ABOUT THE EXPERIMENT
In a sample of Rb in a magnetic field, certain excited Zeeman levels are selectively populated using circularly polarized light at the transition frequency. Application of microwave radiation at the frequency of the Zeeman splitting will depopulate the "pumped" level via stimulated emission, and the frequency can be precisely measured by watching for the change in absorption of the pumping light. 
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • Basic Physics for the operation of lasers and atomic clocks
  • A precise technique for measuring atomic energy levels and nuclear spins
  • Techniques that will prepare you to perform the Doppler Free Spectroscopy experiment
PREPARATION
  • Recommended previous experiment:
  • Related Experiments:
  • Required reading:
    • Laboratory Procedure
    • The writeup describes a measurement using a laser to pump the cell. However, it's perfectly feasible to do it with a rubidium lamp.
  • Recommended reading:
    • Optical Pumping by Arnold L. Bloom, Scientific American, Oct. 1960, p 72
    • Optical Pumping by Robert L. de Zafra, American Journal of Physics, 28 (1960), pp 646-654
    • Optical Pumping Theory and Experiment by Reuben Benumof, American Journal of Physics, 33 (1966), p 151
OTHER DOCUMENTATION