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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 614737, 6 pages
Research Article

Hanle Detection for Optical Clocks

State Key Laboratory of Advanced Optical Communication Systems and Networks, Institute of Quantum Electronics, School of Electronics Engineering & Computer Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Received 7 November 2014; Revised 18 January 2015; Accepted 18 January 2015

Academic Editor: Rui C. Marques

Copyright © 2015 Xiaogang Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Considering the strong inhomogeneous spatial polarization and intensity distribution of spontaneous decay fluorescence due to the Hanle effect, we propose and demonstrate a universe Hanle detection configuration of electron-shelving method for optical clocks. Experimental results from Ca atomic beam optical frequency standard with electron-shelving method show that a designed Hanle detection geometry with optimized magnetic field direction, detection laser beam propagation and polarization direction, and detector position can improve the fluorescence collection rate by more than one order of magnitude comparing with that of inefficient geometry. With the fixed 423 nm fluorescence, the improved 657 nm optical frequency standard signal intensity is presented. The potential application of the Hanle detection geometry designed for facilitating the fluorescence collection for optical lattice clock with a limited solid angle of the fluorescence collection has been discussed. The Hanle detection geometry is also effective for ion detection in ion optical clock and quantum information experiments. Besides, a cylinder fluorescence collection structure is designed to increase the solid angle of the fluorescence collection in Ca atomic beam optical frequency standard.