Precision Spectroscopy and Laser Frequency Control Using FM Sideband Optical Heterodyne Techniques

  • J. L. Hall
  • T. Baer
  • L. Hollberg
  • H. G. Robinson
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Optical Sciences book series (SSOS, volume 30)


In fundamental physical experiments using laser servolocking techniques,1 in passive ring laser gyro experiments, and in precision atomic/molecular spectroscopic measurements as well, the two overriding experimental concerns are maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio and obtaining highly symmetrical resonance profiles to facilitate precise line splitting. In this paper we discuss the technique of FM sideband optical heterodyne spectroscopy,2,3 which appears to be the experimentally optimum method for obtaining such high precision resonance profiles of maximal signal/noise ratio. We discuss the process in simple physical terms relative to stabilization of a laser to a resonant optical cavity, before turning to sub-Doppler resonance spectroscopy obtained by applying the sideband techniques to cw dye lasers and color center lasers. The final topic concerns our study of optical transients resulting from laser phase changes, studied with the optical heterodyne technique.


Probe Beam Laser Phase Balance Mixer Resonance Profile Optical Heterodyne 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Hall
    • 2
  • T. Baer
    • 1
  • L. Hollberg
    • 1
  • H. G. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Institute for Laboratory AstrophysicsUniversity of Colorado and National Bureau of StandardsBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Quantum Physics DivisionNational Bureau of StandardsUSA

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