Optica Open
arXiv.svg (5.58 kB)

An atomic compass -- detecting 3D magnetic field alignment with vector vortex light

Download (5.58 kB)
posted on 2023-01-11, 23:07 authored by Francesco Castellucci, Thomas W. Clark, Adam Selyem, Jinwen Wang, Sonja Franke-Arnold
We describe and demonstrate how 3D magnetic field alignment can be inferred from single absorption images of an atomic cloud. While optically pumped magnetometers conventionally rely on temporal measurement of the Larmor precession of atomic dipoles, here a cold atomic vapour provides a spatial interface between vector light and external magnetic fields. Using a vector vortex beam, we inscribe structured atomic spin polarisation in a cloud of cold rubidium atoms, and record images of the resulting absorption patterns. The polar angle of an external magnetic field can be deduced with spatial Fourier analysis. This effect presents an alternative concept for detecting magnetic vector fields, and demonstrates, more generally, how introducing spatial phases between atomic energy levels can translate transient effects to the spatial domain.



This arXiv metadata record was not reviewed or approved by, nor does it necessarily express or reflect the policies or opinions of, arXiv.

Usage metrics