Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Physics

First Advisor

James K. Thompson

Abstract

Atomic physics research has emerged as an exciting field with its promise of yielding advancements in our computing and measurement capabilities that could transform technologies down to the consumer level. An indispensable tool for this research is the laser, which allows for the precise control of atoms. Lasers need to be stable in an atomic physics experiment for their light to be useful, and to that end, laser stabilization techniques have become an important practice in the lab. These techniques are not perfect however, and they can ``drop'' the stability lock on their lasers when shocked by strong mechanical noise. Such stability drops disrupt the flow of research. I describe a solution to this impediment, a mechanism that fits into standard laser stabilization schemes and automatically re-stabilizes the system upon detecting a drop. It is a flexible, user-friendly apparatus capable of fine-tuning its operation to the system at hand. Atomic physicists can considerably improve the robustness of their setups using this mechanism, leading to more reliable and streamlined experimentation.

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