We have observed Hanle signals and n=0, p=1 parametric resonances of 23S1 metastable helium atoms in a discharge cell by optically pumping the helium atoms with a tunable Nd:LNA laser. These resonances were used to construct a sensitive magnetometer for the measurement of very small magnetic fields. Since magnetometer sensitivity is proportional to the slope of the parametric resonance signal (signal amplitude divided by linewidth), the slopes for single-line laser pumping were compared with similar quantities obtained from conventional helium lamp pumping. Laser pumping yielded 45 times greater slopes with comparable power requirements, thus establishing the potential for developing ultrasensitive resonance magnetometers using single-line laser pumping.
R. E. Slocum et al., "Nd:LNA Laser Optical Pumping Of ⁴He: Application To Space Magnetometers," Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 6615 - 6617, American Institute of Physics, Dec 1988.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.342042
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01 Dec 1988