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Reciprocity of propagation in optical fiber links demonstrated to 10−21

Abstract : We present a study of the fundamental limit of fiber links using dedicated link architecture. We use an experimental arrangement that enables us to detect the forward and backward propagation noise independently and simultaneously in optical fiber and where the optical phase evolution is expected to be driven by the only contribution of the reference arms of the Michelson interferometer ensemble. In this article, we demonstrate indeed the high correlation between the optical phase evolution and the temperature variation of the interferometer ensemble, leading to a frequency offset of (4.4 ± 2.3) × 10 −21. Using a simple temperature model and a Bayesian analysis to evaluate the model parameters, we show that the temperature effect can be compensated with post-processing, removing the frequency offset down to (0.5 ± 2.0) × 10 −21. The residual slope of the optical phase evolution over 33 days is 350 yoctosecond/s. Using a global temperature parameter, we divide these 33 days dataset in four subsets and analyse their uncertainties. We show that they are self-consistent when the temperature is taken into account. This provides an alternative method to evaluate the accuracy of a fiber link, especially when the dataset includes large dead times. The result is finally interpreted as a test of the reciprocity of the propagation delay in an optical fiber. This unprecedented transfer capability could enable the comparisons of future optical clocks with expected performance at 10 −20 level and open new possibilities for stringent tests of special and general relativity.
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Contributor : Anne Amy-Klein <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 22, 2020 - 11:54:30 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 24, 2020 - 3:32:29 AM


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Dan Xu, Pacôme Delva, Olivier Lopez, Anne Amy-Klein, Paul-Eric Pottie. Reciprocity of propagation in optical fiber links demonstrated to 10−21. Optics Express, Optical Society of America - OSA Publishing, 2019, 27, ⟨10.1364/oe.27.036965⟩. ⟨hal-03086092⟩



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