Abstract

We investigate the influence of fast frequency fluctuations of an interrogation laser on the obtainable signal-to-noise ratio in Ramsey–Bordé atom interferometers. It is shown that the excessive high-frequency noise of diode lasers can degrade the signal-to-noise ratio significantly in an atom interferometer. To overcome these limitations, we have devised a low-noise light source by frequency filtering a diode laser in a high-finesse cavity and further amplifying the transmitted power by injection locking a solitary laser diode. When this laser source was used for atom interferometry with laser-cooled calcium atoms, the signal-to-noise ratio could be improved further by a factor of 3.5 compared with the use of the unfiltered 1Hz linewidth laser source.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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