The precision by which an electron spin polarization measurement can be made using a noble-gas polarimeter depends directly on the accuracy of a light-polarization measurement. Since the electron-noble gas collisions occur in a vacuum chamber and the optical polarimeter is generally outside the chamber, this work examines the effect the vacuum window has on the perceived optical polarization. A model light source, lens system, and optical polarimeter are used that approximate the situation found in a typical atomic physics experiment. It was demonstrated that a pressure difference of 1 atm on a lens will alter the perceived polarization by as much as 0.05% with typical borosilicate (BK) lenses. This effect was demonstrated to scale with the thickness of the lens used and changes signs when the direction of the stress is reversed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering