Abstract

We present a new technique for measuring atomic lifetimes with a mode-locked laser. A single laser pulse excites the atoms and a subsequent frequency-doubled pulse ionizes the excited-state atoms. The ions are collected and counted. The measurement is repeated using excitation and detection pulses with different time separations, which determines the excited-state decay rate. We demonstrated this technique for the 6P3/2 state of cesium. The measured lifetime was 30.5 ns and had a statistical uncertainty of 0.1 ns. Systematic effects limited the overall experimental uncertainty to 0.6 ns in this initial experiment.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J. N. Demas, Excited State Lifetime Measurements (Academic, New York, 1983).
  2. S. C. Bennett and C. E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2484 (1999).
    [Crossref]
  3. C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  4. S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  5. R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
    [Crossref]
  6. L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  7. A. Derevianko and S. G. Porsev, Phys. Rev. A 65, 053403 (2002).
    [Crossref]
  8. C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
    [Crossref]
  9. Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  10. Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
    [Crossref]

2002 (3)

A. Derevianko and S. G. Porsev, Phys. Rev. A 65, 053403 (2002).
[Crossref]

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1999 (2)

S. C. Bennett and C. E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2484 (1999).
[Crossref]

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

1997 (1)

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1994 (1)

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1991 (1)

S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1983 (1)

J. N. Demas, Excited State Lifetime Measurements (Academic, New York, 1983).

1976 (1)

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

Amiot, C.

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Bennett, S. C.

S. C. Bennett and C. E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2484 (1999).
[Crossref]

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Berry, H. G.

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

Blundell, S. A.

S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Cho, D.

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Demas, J. N.

J. N. Demas, Excited State Lifetime Measurements (Academic, New York, 1983).

Derevianko, A.

A. Derevianko and S. G. Porsev, Phys. Rev. A 65, 053403 (2002).
[Crossref]

Dulieu, O.

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Goodmanson, D.

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

Gutterres, R. F.

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Hänsch, T. W.

Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hill III, W. T.

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Holzwarth, R.

Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Johnson, W. R.

S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Lambropoulos, P.

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

Leone, S. R.

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Livingston, A. E.

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

Masnou-Seeuws, F.

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Masterson, B. P.

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Norcross, D. W.

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

Porsev, S. G.

A. Derevianko and S. G. Porsev, Phys. Rev. A 65, 053403 (2002).
[Crossref]

Price, S. D.

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Rafac, R. J.

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

Roberts, J. L.

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Sapirstein, J.

S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Sibener, S. J.

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Tanner, C. E.

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Teague, M. R.

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

Udem, Th.

Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Wieman, C. E.

S. C. Bennett and C. E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2484 (1999).
[Crossref]

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Wood, C. S.

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Young, L.

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Nature (1)

Th. Udem, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, Nature 416, 233 (2002).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Phys. Rev. A (6)

Assuming a two-photon cross section of s2=1×10-49 cm4 s ; see M. R. Teague, P. Lambropoulos, D. Goodmanson, and D. W. Norcross, Phys. Rev. A 14, 1057 (1976).
[Crossref]

S. A. Blundell, J. Sapirstein, and W. R. Johnson, Phys. Rev. A 43, 3407 (1991).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R. J. Rafac, C. E. Tanner, A. E. Livingston, and H. G. Berry, Phys. Rev. A 60, 3648 (1999).
[Crossref]

L. Young, W. T. Hill III, S. J. Sibener, S. D. Price, C. E. Tanner, C. E. Wieman, and S. R. Leone, Phys. Rev. A 50, 2174 (1994).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. Derevianko and S. G. Porsev, Phys. Rev. A 65, 053403 (2002).
[Crossref]

C. Amiot, O. Dulieu, R. F. Gutterres, and F. Masnou-Seeuws, Phys. Rev. A 66, 052506 (2002).
[Crossref]

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

S. C. Bennett and C. E. Wieman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2484 (1999).
[Crossref]

Science (1)

C. S. Wood, S. C. Bennett, D. Cho, B. P. Masterson, J. L. Roberts, C. E. Tanner, and C. E. Wieman, Science 275, 1759 (1997).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Other (1)

J. N. Demas, Excited State Lifetime Measurements (Academic, New York, 1983).

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Experimental setup. Atoms are excited by a single mode-locked laser pulse. A subsequent pulse is frequency doubled and ionizes atoms from the excited state. The ions are detected with a Channeltron and counted.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Modified setup. Two mode-locked pulses are selected with the EOM and frequency doubled. The beam is double passed through the EOM for improved extinction ratio. A dichroic mirror separates the second-harmonic light from the fundamental. Filters F1 and F2 remove the unwanted frequency components in each leg.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Pulse timing. The two selected pulses are separated by an integral number of pulse intervals. The infrared pulses are physically delayed relative to the blue pulses. The first infrared pulse and the second blue pulse provide the pump–probe for the measurement. The measurement cycle is repeated every 1 µs.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Decay from the cesium 6P3/2 state. The statistical error bars are smaller than the symbol size. The exponential fit yielded τ=30.5 ns.

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