Reaching the Shot Noise Limit For $10
Laser-based optical measurements are a fundamental technology of our civilization. Their flexibility is amazing: interferometers maintain the accuracy of machine tools, serve as gyroscopes for navigation, do transform spectroscopy, and perform ranging for seismology and gravity wave detection; lidar detects tornadoes, wind shear, and air pollution; other systems play compact disks and scan bar codes in supermarkets. Optical measurements in research include spectroscopy, Doppler velocimetry, aerosol particle monitoring, ellipsometry, interferometry, fiber-based sensing, femtosecond pump/probe studies, and many, many more.
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