Date Thesis Awarded

4-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Physics

Advisor

Eugeniy Mikhailov

Committee Member

Gina Hoatson

Committee Member

Junping Shi

Abstract

Squeezed states of light, i.e., quantum states exhibiting reduced noise statistics, may be used to greatly enhance the sensitivity of light-based measurements. We study a squeezed vacuum field generated in hot Rb vapor via the polarization self-rotation effect. By propagating a strong pump beam through an atomic vapor cell, we were able to achieve a noise suppression of 2.7 dB below shot noise. Our previous work revealed that this amount of noise suppression may be limited by the excitement of higher order modes in the squeezed field during the atom-light interaction. Once incident on the homodyne detection scheme, these higher order modes may induce an imperfect mode match between the squeezed field and the local oscillator (LO). In this work, we used a liquid-crystal-based spatial light modulator to modify the spatial mode structure of the pump and LO beams. We demonstrate that optimization of the spatial modes can lead to higher detected noise suppression.

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