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Lectures on LightNonlinear and Quantum Optics using the Density Matrix$
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Stephen Rand

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574872.001.0001

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Transient Optical Response

Transient Optical Response

(p.76) 4 Transient Optical Response
Lectures on Light

Stephen C. Rand

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 treats the three most important coherent optical transient phenomena using primarily the Bloch vector model. One section is devoted to each effect: nutation, free induction decay (FID), and photon echo. Through this, the idea that steady‐state response to light develops slowly, on a timescale set by inertia in the atom–field interaction, is introduced. In the last section, three possible approaches to describing the photon echo are briefly compared to gain perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of algebraic, matrix multiplication, or density matrix methodology. By the end of this chapter the reader is prepared for the remaining chapters in which the density matrix approach is used exclusively to calculate the effects of light.

Keywords:   coherent transients, nutation, free induction decay, photon echo

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