Abstract

Photon-correlation spectroscopy, using both time-interval distribution and burst multiplicity measurements, has been used to investigate the 460.7-nm resonance line of strontium in a low-density atomic beam. A model that considers transit times and thermal velocity distributions for the interval measurements is presented and compared with experimental results. The measurements can determine detection efficiency and absolute beam densities and evaluate nonstatistical behavior such as photomultiplier afterpulsing and dark-count correlation. Photon correlation provides substantial improvements in spectroscopic measurements: linewidths less than the natural lifetime limit are observed, and suppression of Lorentzian tails reduces isotopic interferences by several orders of magnitude. Signal-to-background noise ratios are also improved, with detection limits (1-sec integration) of 10 atoms per second.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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