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Quantum Confined Laser DevicesOptical gain and recombination in semiconductors$
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Peter Blood

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644513.001.0001

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The classical atomic dipole oscillator

The classical atomic dipole oscillator

(p.67) 6 The classical atomic dipole oscillator
Quantum Confined Laser Devices

Peter Blood

Oxford University Press

Optical gain can be regarded as the growth of an electromagnetic wave propagating through a dielectric as described by Maxwell’s equations, with electric polarisation due to dipoles induced by the field of the wave in classical atomic oscillators. The real and imaginary parts of the complex susceptibility give the amplitude gain and refractive index change respectively. Over time the phase relation between oscillation of individual dipoles is lost by collisions; this loss of coherence causes the optical response of the ensemble to be broadened in energy or wavelength. The response is also broadened by gradual energy loss (damping) causing a reduction in the amplitude of the oscillating field. These effects are characterised by time constants T22 and T1 respectively, which combine to produce homogeneous broadening with Lorentzian lineshape. Absorption by an atomic ensemble is expressed as an optical cross section of each atom.

Keywords:   atomic oscillator, dipole, polarisation, complex susceptibility, homogeneous broadening, absorption, optical cross section

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