November 2008 Meeting Summary

November 2008 Meeting Summary
On November 12, 2008, the Southern California Chapter of the ION held a meeting, hosted by NavCom in Torrance, CA. The meeting included a presentation from Dr. Svenja Knappe of NIST entitled Chip Scale Atomic Clocks. A short biography and abstract of the meeting follows, and the slides used during the meeting are attached.

Capsule Biography of Dr. Svenja Knappe
Svenja Knappe received her Ph.D. from the University of Bonn, Germany, in 2001, for her research on coherent population trapping for atomic clocks and magnetometers. As part of her graduate work, she worked on cooling and trapping of single atoms. Since 2001, she has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO. Her current research interest is the miniaturization of atomic sensors. She developed the first microfabricated atomic vapor cells and laser wavelength stabilization, as well as chip-scale atomic clock physics package at NIST. Currently, she works on the development of chip-scale atomic magnetometers.

Abstract of Svenja Knappe’s Talk
Slides: Chip Scale Atomic Clocks
Chip-scale atomic clocks – Chip-scale atomic clocks (CSACs) have rapidly advanced since their proposal in 2001. The combination of MEMS fabrication techniques and atomic physics has led to the development of small, low cost atomic clocks with much reduced power consumption. Embedding these clocks in battery-operated portable devices would have many potential applications in the telecommunication and navigation sector. After the initial demonstration of the first microfabricated alkali vapor cells and CSAC physics packages, many improvements have been made in terms of short-term frequency stability, power consumption, and size. By now, this has led to the fabrication of commercial prototypes. Furthermore, some of the fabrication technologies developed for CSACs have been used for other chip-scale atomic sensors, such as magnetometers, wavelength references, and gyroscopes.