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Institute of Optics


Amplitude-Modulated Optical Double Resonance


Michael F. Van Leeuwen

We have investigated the interaction between bichromatic optical fields and atomic transitions. We have considered both the interaction of a saturating bichromatic field in the form of a 100% amplitude-modulated field resonantly interacting with a single atomic transition as well as the interaction of a pair of 100% amplitude-modulated fields with two coupled atomic transitions.

In our studies of a single atomic transition resonantly excited by a 100% amplitude-modulated field we have used a fully quantum-electrodynamical analysis to model the Autler-Townes effect induced by a bichromatic optical field. We find that the effect induced by a bichromatic field is markedly different from the effect produced by a monochromatic exciting field. We have derived analytic expressions for the bichromatic Autler-Townes absorption spectrum. The absorption spectrum consists of equally spaced lines spaced by the modulation frequency. The linewidths of neighboring lines alternate as functions of the field strength. Experimentally, we observed this spectrum for both resonant and detuned 100% amplitude-modulated driving fields by monitoring the absorption of a weak monochromatic field as it was tuned about the resonance frequency of the 32P3/2(F = 3,mF = 3) ‹–› 42D5/2(F = 4,mF = 4) transition while driving the 32S1/2(F = 2,mF = 2) ‹–› 32P3/2(F = 3,mF = 3) transition with a saturating 100% amplitude-modulated field. We found excellent agreement between our predicted and measured spectra.

We then investigated the resonant interaction between a pair of 100% amplitude-modulated fields and two atomic transitions sharing a common atomic level. We considered both a three-level atomic cascade system and a three-level atomic lambda system. We examined the effect that the relative phase between the two modulations has on the rate at which the modulated fields are absorbed. We find that the saturated time-averaged field absorption exhibits parametric resonances in both the cascade and lambda systems. The time-averaged absorption is strongly dependent upon the relative phase of modulation between the two fields and for certain phase differences the time-averaged absorption can be enhanced over the maximum saturated absorption experienced by cw fields of the same time-averaged intensities. We also find that the stationary atomic response exhibits periodic oscillations and for the cascade system periodic two-photon inversions of up to 40% can be achieved. We further find dark absorption resonances as a function of phase in the lambda system. We analyze the results from the point of view of semi-classical adiabatic dressed states.

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Last modified 13 September 2006