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Noise-induced servo errors in optical clocks utilizing Rabi interrogation

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posted on 2023-07-08, 04:01 authored by T. Lindvall, A. E. Wallin, K. J. Hanhijärvi, T. Fordell
We show that in optical clocks based on Rabi interrogation, both laser-frequency and magnetic-field flicker ($1/f$) noise with zero mean can lead to servo errors at the $10^{-18}$ level if the negative-detuning (red) and positive-detuning (blue) sides of the transition are always probed in the same order. This is due to the strong correlations of flicker noise in combination with an imbalance in the response of the servo discriminator to positive and negative differential frequency noise between the red- and blue-side probing. This imbalance is particularly large for a normalized discriminator. We derive an analytical expression for the servo error based on the correlation function of the laser-frequency or magnetic-field noise and compare it to numerical servo simulations to demonstrate how the error depends on the noise level, servo parameters, and probing sequence. We also show that the servo error can be avoided by normalizing the discriminator with a moving mean or by reversing the red/blue probing order for every second servo cycle.

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