Quantum limit of optical magnetometry in the presence of ac Stark shifts Academic Article uri icon


  • We analyze systematic (classical) and fundamental (quantum) limitations of the sensitivity of optical magnetometers resulting from ac Stark shifts. We show that in contrast to absorption-based techniques, the signal reduction associated with classical broadening can be compensated in magnetometers based on phase measurements using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). However due to ac Starkassociated quantum noise the signal-to-noise ratio of EIT-based magnetometers attains a maximum value at a certain laser intensity. This value is independent on the quantum statistics of the light and defines a standard quantum limit of sensitivity. We demonstrate that an EIT-based optical magnetometer in Faraday configuration is the best candidate to achieve the highest sensitivity of magnetic-field detection and give a detailed analysis of such a device. 2000 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fleischhauer, M., Matsko, A. B., & Scully, M. O.

citation count

  • 108

complete list of authors

  • Fleischhauer, M||Matsko, AB||Scully, MO

publication date

  • July 2000