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Steady-state quantum interference in resonance fluorescence

D. A. Cardimona, M. G. Raymer, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.

J. Phys. B 15, 55 (1982).

It is shown that when a monochromatic laser couples a single atomic ground level to two closely spaced excited levels the system can be driven into a state in which quantum interference prevents any fluorescence from the excited levels, regardless of the intensity of the exciting field. This steady-state interference occurs only at a particular excitation frequency which depends on the separation of the excited states and the relative size of the two transition dipole matrix elements. The results are derived from the density matrix equations of motion. It is shown that a correct description of the effect requires the inclusion of generalised Einstein A coefficients which are usually neglected in phenomenological damping theories. A dressed-state analysis is introduced to simplify the generalisation to atoms having more complex manifolds of excited states. Analogous interferences in multiphoton absorption and ionisation are also discussed briefly.

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