Abstract

Decoupling of total electronic and nuclear spin moments of Cs atoms in an external magnetic field for the case of atomic D1 line, leading to onset of the hyperfine Paschen–Back (HPB) regime, is studied theoretically and experimentally. Selective reflection (SR) of laser radiation from an interface of dielectric window and atomic vapor confined in a nanocell with 300 nm gap thickness is implemented for the experimental studies. The real-time derivative of SR signal with a frequency position coinciding with atomic transitions is used in the measurements, providing 40  MHz spectral resolution and linearity of the signal response with respect to the transition probability. The behavior of 28 individual Zeeman transitions in a wide range of longitudinal magnetic field (0–6 kG) is tracked under the excitation of Cs vapor by a low-intensity σ+-polarized cw laser radiation. For B6  kG, only eight transitions with nearly equal probabilities and the same frequency slope remain in the spectrum, which is a manifestation of the HPB regime. The obtained experimental results are in very good agreement with the numerical modeling. A small divergence of the SR signal as well as subwavelength thickness and sub-Doppler spectral linewidth inherent to nanocell make it possible for the employed technique to be used for distant remote sensing of a magnetic field with high spatial and B-field resolution.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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