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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Apr 24;102(16):163601. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Prospects for a millihertz-linewidth laser.

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JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0440, USA.


We propose a new light source based on having alkaline-earth atoms in an optical lattice collectively emit photons on an ultranarrow clock transition into the mode of a high Q resonator. The resultant optical radiation has an extremely narrow linewidth in the mHz range, even smaller than that of the clock transition itself due to collective effects. A power level of order 10;{-12} W is possible, sufficient for phase locking a slave optical local oscillator. Realizing this light source has the potential to improve the stability of the best clocks by 2 orders of magnitude.

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