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Fig. 1. Basic configuration of the Bell–Bloom magnetometer. A circularly polarized laser beam pumps the atomic ensemble, which acquires a macroscopic magnetization ( M ). In the presence of a magnetic field B o , M precesses about the field at Larmor frequency. Readout of the precession frequency is implemented by OR detection of a linearly polarized laser beam. Continuous readout is achieved by modulating the amplitude of the pumping light.