Coherent trapping of atomic populations
H. R. Gray, R. M. Whitley, and C. R. Stroud, Jr.
Opt. Lett. 3, 218 (1978).
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It is often desirable in laser spectroscopy and isotope separation to
extract as much as possible of an atomic or molecular population that is
distributed among a number of ground-state sublevels and low-lying
metastable levels. The authors describe a form of coherent trapping that
occurs when multiple resonant laser beams are used to couple the various
ground states to a common upper level. This effect prevents the extraction
of the entire population. They then study the effect with two dye lasers
and an atomic beam and suggest possible ways to maximize the pumping
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