Probing the motion of cold atoms by Faraday spectroscopy

Greg A. Smith, Souma Chaudhury, Poul S. Jessen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We have implemented a continuous measurement of the mean magnetic moment of an ensemble of atoms trapped in a far-off-resonance optical lattice, by detecting the Faraday rotation of one of the lattice beams after it has passed through the atom cloud. In a first demonstration experiment we have observed Larmor precession with high signal-to-noise ratio, and compared the performance of the measurement with a simple theory. Faraday spectroscopy offers an ideal method to monitor the atomic dynamics and will be applied to the study of quantum chaos in magneto-optical lattices. In principle the measurement sensitivity can be increased to the point where quantum backaction becomes significant, thereby opening the door to studies of quantum feedback, spin squeezing and the role played by quantum measurement in quantum/classical correspondence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-400
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventFluctuations and Noise in Photonics and Quantum Optics - Santa Fe, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 2 2003Jun 4 2003


  • Continuous quantum measurement
  • Faraday spectroscopy
  • Optical lattice
  • Quantum chaos
  • Quantum control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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