Accurate lineshape spectroscopy and the Boltzmann constant

G.W. Truong, James Anstie, Eric May, T.M. Stace, Andre Luiten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Spectroscopy has an illustrious history delivering serendipitous discoveries and providing a stringent testbed for new physical predictions, including applications from trace materials detection, to understanding the atmospheres of stars and planets, and even constraining cosmological models. Reaching fundamental-noise limits permits optimal extraction of spectroscopic information from an absorption measurement. Here, we demonstrate a quantum-limited spectrometer that delivers high-precision measurements of the absorption lineshape. These measurements yield a very accurate measurement of the excited-state (6P1/2) hyperfine splitting in Cs, and reveals a breakdown in the well-known Voigt spectral profile. We develop a theoretical model that accounts for this breakdown, explaining the observations to within the shot-noise limit. Our model enables us to infer the thermal velocity dispersion of the Cs vapour with an uncertainty of 35 p.p.m. within an hour. This allows us to determine a value for Boltzmann's constant with a precision of 6 p.p.m., and an uncertainty of 71 p.p.m.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8345 (2015)
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2015

    Fingerprint

    Uncertainty
    Noise
    Spectrum Analysis
    Spectroscopy
    Planets
    Information Storage and Retrieval
    Atmosphere
    spectroscopy
    Theoretical Models
    Hot Temperature
    breakdown
    History
    Shot noise
    shot noise
    Testbeds
    Excited states
    Stars
    Spectrometers
    planets
    Vapors

    Cite this

    Truong, G.W. ; Anstie, James ; May, Eric ; Stace, T.M. ; Luiten, Andre. / Accurate lineshape spectroscopy and the Boltzmann constant. In: Nature Communications. 2015 ; Vol. 6. pp. 1-6.
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    Accurate lineshape spectroscopy and the Boltzmann constant. / Truong, G.W.; Anstie, James; May, Eric; Stace, T.M.; Luiten, Andre.

    In: Nature Communications, Vol. 6, 8345 (2015), 14.10.2015, p. 1-6.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Accurate lineshape spectroscopy and the Boltzmann constant

    AU - Truong, G.W.

    AU - Anstie, James

    AU - May, Eric

    AU - Stace, T.M.

    AU - Luiten, Andre

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    AB - © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Spectroscopy has an illustrious history delivering serendipitous discoveries and providing a stringent testbed for new physical predictions, including applications from trace materials detection, to understanding the atmospheres of stars and planets, and even constraining cosmological models. Reaching fundamental-noise limits permits optimal extraction of spectroscopic information from an absorption measurement. Here, we demonstrate a quantum-limited spectrometer that delivers high-precision measurements of the absorption lineshape. These measurements yield a very accurate measurement of the excited-state (6P1/2) hyperfine splitting in Cs, and reveals a breakdown in the well-known Voigt spectral profile. We develop a theoretical model that accounts for this breakdown, explaining the observations to within the shot-noise limit. Our model enables us to infer the thermal velocity dispersion of the Cs vapour with an uncertainty of 35 p.p.m. within an hour. This allows us to determine a value for Boltzmann's constant with a precision of 6 p.p.m., and an uncertainty of 71 p.p.m.

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