Abstract

Precision studies of stimulated-resonance Raman interactions in a sodium atomic beam were performed with emphasis on Ramsey’s separated-field excitation. Ramsey fringes were obtained for a field separation of up to 30 cm, and the data were consistent with theoretical predictions. Possible applications of this Raman interaction to clock development also were studied by stabilizing a microwave oscillator to a Raman–Ramsey fringe. The resulting oscillator stability of 1.5 × 10−11 for a 1000-sec averaging time compares favorably with commercial cesium clocks when differences in atom transit time and transition frequency are taken into consideration. Finally, potential sources of long-term frequency error, which are important for clock applications, were also partially investigated.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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