Abstract

Optical rotation of linearly polarized light is used to measure atom spin precession in an atomic spin gyroscope (ASG). However, the common-mode noise in the polarization measurement seriously affects the performance of the sensitive ASG. Here we propose an optical differential detection method based on the photoelastic polarization modulation, which could effectively eliminate the light power fluctuation of the laser source and optical elements, while removing the polarization noise and the residual birefringence. The feasibility and efficiency of this method have been verified experimentally. The rotation sensitivity of the ASG is an order of magnitude better, and the long-time stability is significantly improved. In addition, this method is easier to implement because noise sources do not need to be strictly distinguished.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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