Chapter

Coherent Interactions of Fields and Atoms

Stephen C. Rand

in Lectures on Light

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574872
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722219 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574872.003.0005
Coherent Interactions of Fields and Atoms

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Chapter 5 begins the systematic application of the density matrix to describe optical interactions. First, stationary two‐ and three‐level atoms interacting with a traveling wave are compared to show that the presence of additional levels changes the saturation behavior of atoms. Then motion of the atoms is introduced and the phenomena of spatial and frequency‐domain hole‐burning are analyzed. Special effects due to standing waves, such as the light shift are covered in this section. Next, tri‐level coherence is considered, to extend the concept of coherences to two‐photon transitions or Zeeman interactions in folded Λ‐ or V‐systems. Higher (third‐)order interactions are also analyzed. This includes four‐wave mixing and pump‐probe spectroscopy which form the basis of common nonlinear laser spectrocopies. The chapter closes by pointing out that higher order coherent interactions, which can sometimes be important if they are deliberately phase‐matched, are best treated using a diagrammatic calculational technique based on Feynman diagrams.

Keywords: saturation; coherence; two‐photon coherence; hole‐burning; light shift; four‐wave mixing; pump‐probe spectroscopy; Feynman diagrams

Chapter.  20528 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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