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Physicists invent a new form of antenna for radio waves

Physicists invent a new form of antenna for radio waves

Physicists at the University of Otago have used a small glass bulb containing atomic vapor to demonstrate a potential new form of antenna for radio waves. The lamp is “wired” to the lasers and can therefore be placed away from any of the receiver’s electronics.

Susie Otto of the Dodd Walls Center for Photonics and Quantum Technologies led field testing of the portable atomic radio frequency sensor.

An article on creationism was published in Applied Physics Letters.

These sensors, enabled by atoms in the so-called Rydberg state, can provide superior performance over existing antenna technologies because they are highly sensitive, have wide tunability and small physical size, making them attractive for use in defense and communications.

For example, it can simplify communications for soldiers on the battlefield, because it covers the entire radio frequency spectrum, rather than needing multiple antennas to cover different frequency bands, and it is highly sensitive and accurate for detecting a wide range of radio frequencies. Critical signals. The ability to eliminate the need for multiple sensors also makes them useful in satellite technology.

Importantly, compared to conventional sensors, Rydberg sensors can operate without any metal parts, which can scatter the radio frequency field of interest, and the atomic sensor is accessed via laser light, replacing the need for electrical cables.

The new design of the Otago kit is portable and can be taken outside the laboratory. In the first demonstration outside the laboratory, the sensor was able to efficiently measure fields at a distance of 30 meters using a free-space laser link. This adds important flexibility to Rydberg’s atom-based detection techniques.

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They expect that these advances will make quantum sensors more powerful and cost-effective, allowing them to move from laboratories to the real world.

more information: J. Susanne Otto et al., Far-field RF sensing using a passive Rydberg atomic transducer, Applied Physics Letters (2023). doi: 10.1063/5.0169993

Magazine information: Applied Physics Letters

Provided by the University of Otago

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