We describe optically pumping a beam of sodium atoms to >96% mS and >92% mS, mI state selection. (We have accurately measured the population of every mS, mI state in the optically pumped beam.) For the optical pumping both ground hyperfine states are pumped, using single-mode cw dye-laser radiation tuned to the 3S1/2–3P1/2 transition that is phase modulated in a LiTaO3 crystal to produce first-order sidebands at approximately the 1772-MHz hyperfine splitting of the ground state. The z-directed optical pumping is performed in a z-directed magnetic field of ~5 G. The state-selected atoms then move, in ~1 cm, into an ~200 G, z-directed field. The downstream probe laser beam is scanned through the 3S1/2 (mS, mI) → 3P3/2 (mS′, mI) transitions, which are spectroscopically resolved at 200 G, and the fluorescence intensities portray the residual populations in each of the eight 3S1/2 states.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 30, 1989
Manuscript Accepted: June 6, 1990
Published: January 1, 1991
Gregory W. Schinn, Xianming L. Han, and Alan Gallagher, "Production and diagnosis of a highly spin-polarized Na beam," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 8, 169-173 (1991)