An isotropic antenna based on Rydberg atoms

arXiv (Cornell University)(2023)

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Governed by the hairy ball theorem, classical antennas with isotropic responses to linearly polarized radio waves are unrealizable. This work shows that the antenna based on Rydberg atoms can theoretically achieve an ideal isotropic response to linearly polarized radio waves; that is, it has zero isotropic deviation. Experimental results of isotropic deviation within 5 dB, and 0.3 dB achievable after optimization, in microwave and terahertz wave measurements support the theory and are at least 15 dB improvement than the classical omnidirectional antenna. Combined with the SI traceable and ultrawideband property, the ideal isotropic response will make radio wave measurement based on atomic antenna much more accurate and reliable than the traditional method. This isotropic atomic antenna is an excellent example of what a tailored quantum sensor can realize, but a classical sensor cannot. It has crucial applications in fields such as radio wave electrometry.
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