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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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Coherent Interactions of Fields and Atoms

Coherent Interactions of Fields and Atoms

(p.101) 5 Coherent Interactions of Fields and Atoms
Lectures on Light

Stephen C. Rand

Oxford University Press

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

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