Quantum limit of optical magnetometry in the presence of ac-Stark shifts
- Abstract: We analyze systematic (classical) and fundamental (quantum) limitations of the sensitivity of optical magnetometers resulting from ac-Stark shifts. We show that incontrast to absorption-based techniques, the signal reduction associated with classical broadening can be compensated in magnetometers based on phase measurements using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). However due to ac-Stark associated quantum noise the signal-to-noise ratio of EIT-based magnetometers attains a maximum value at a certain laser intensity. This value is independent on the quantum statistics of the light and defines a standard quantum limit of sensitivity. We demonstrate that an EIT-based optical magnetometer in Faraday configuration is the best candidate to achieve the highest sensitivity of magnetic field detection and give a detailed analysis of such a device.