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Precision stabilization of the optical frequency in a large ring laser gyroscope

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Abstract

Pressure-induced fractional changes of 10-7 in the geometry of a large He–Ne ring laser gyroscope induce backscatter phase changes and thus a fractional pulling of the Sagnac frequency of ∼5 × 10-3. To counter this, the optical frequency was stabilized against an iodine-stabilized laser with a high-finesse Fabry–Perot interferometer and piezoelectric control of the ring perimeter. This scheme, although limited in principle by residual geometric asymmetry and in practice by low beam powers (10 pW), stabilized the perimeter to 2.4 nm (6 × 10-10 or 300 kHz for the optical frequency) and the Sagnac frequency to 100 parts per million over several days.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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