Conversion of laser phase noise to amplitude noise in a Lummer-Gehrcke interferometer and in oxygen gas Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qr46r412w

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  • In order to observe laser phase noise, this noise must be converted to amplitude noise, which can be achieved using either an interferometer or an absorption resonance in an atomic/molecular vapor or gas. When phase noise is converted to amplitude noise, it is manifested as a heterodyne signal in the output of an optical square-law detector. Thus, phase noise is measured by optical heterodyne spectroscopy, or, equivalently, laser phase noise spectroscopy. In recent work on diode laser noise spectroscopy of rubidium and oxygen, the observed spectroscopic lineshapes were not in total agreement with theoretical predictions. We have repeated the previous work on the oxygen A-band transitions, and we now find qualitative agreement with theory. In addition, we have measured the diode laser noise spectrum of a Lummer- Gehrcke interferometer (LGI), comparing the heterodyne lineshape of a LGI transmission spectrum with a qualitative theory that we develop in this thesis. A theory, from other workers, predicts the intensity fluctuations from a Doppler-broadened, two-level atomic/molecular system driven with a phase-diffusing laser field. We show that a simplified version of this theory, which ignores Doppler effects of the system, is a useful approximation to the complete theory, by comparing computer-generated heterodyne lineshapes of each, for a rubidium transition. We apply this approximate theory to an oxygen A-band transition, and compare these results with our experimental measurements. For the experimental arrangement used in the present work, diode laser noise spectroscopy may also include effects of selective reflection, which is dealt with experimentally and theoretically. Diode laser phase noise has practical importance in optical communications and atomic clocks.
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