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Phys Rev Lett. 2018 Jan 19;120(3):033202. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.033202.

Suppression of the Nonlinear Zeeman Effect and Heading Error in Earth-Field-Range Alkali-Vapor Magnetometers.

Author information

1
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany.
2
Department of Physics, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
3
Rochester Scientific, LLC, El Cerrito, California 94530, USA.
4
School of Physics and Astronomy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Tsung-Dao Lee Institute, Shanghai 200240, China.
5
Colleaborative Innovation Center of Extreme Optics, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China.
6
Helmholtz Institut Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany.
7
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-7300, USA.
8
Nuclear Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

The nonlinear Zeeman effect can induce splitting and asymmetries of magnetic-resonance lines in the geophysical magnetic-field range. This is a major source of "heading error" for scalar atomic magnetometers. We demonstrate a method to suppress the nonlinear Zeeman effect and heading error based on spin locking. In an all-optical synchronously pumped magnetometer with separate pump and probe beams, we apply a radio-frequency field which is in phase with the precessing magnetization. This results in the collapse of the multicomponent asymmetric magnetic-resonance line with ∼100  Hz width in the Earth-field range into a single peak with a width of 22 Hz, whose position is largely independent of the orientation of the sensor within a range of orientation angles. The technique is expected to be broadly applicable in practical magnetometry, potentially boosting the sensitivity and accuracy of Earth-surveying magnetometers by increasing the magnetic-resonance amplitude, decreasing its width, and removing the important and limiting heading-error systematic.

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