Physics

Snapshot Magnetometry

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Science  05 Sep 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5894, pp. 1272
DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5894.1272a

In cold-atom chips, atoms are guided above tracks of wires that supply the magnetic field to keep them aloft. In applications ranging from quantum information processing to metrology, any deviation in the magnetic field from point to point over the chip could influence the delicate state of the atoms. Terraciano et al. introduce a technique that takes a snapshot image of the magnetic field landscape. Using a cloud of cold rubidium atoms, whose energy levels are sensitive to magnetic field, they let the cloud fall toward the chip and probe the atoms' state with a laser beam tuned to one of the magnetic transitions. The ability to take a two-dimensional snapshot image of magnetic field variations of 30 mG/cm above the atom chip over 5 mm with 250-μm resolution should prove useful in calibrating these chips for their envisioned applications. — ISO

Opt. Express 16, 13062 (2008).

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