The Physics of Laser-Atom Interactions by Dieter Suter

By Dieter Suter

This ebook offers a throrough creation to the interplay of atoms and atomic ions with optical and magnetic fields. the writer areas specific emphasis at the wealth of significant multilevel results, the place atomic vapors show anisotropic habit. in addition to masking the vintage two-level atom method of light-atom interactions, Suter describes intimately a normal multilevel formalism, which he makes use of to debate optical pumping, two-dimensional spectroscopy and nonlinear optical dynamics. the ultimate bankruptcy offers with the mechanical results of sunshine, together with the cooling and trapping of atoms. With complete theoretical and experimental insurance, and over 250 illustrations, the booklet could be of significant curiosity to graduate scholars of laser spectroscopy, quantum electronics and quantum optics, and to researchers in those fields.

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Similarly, polarised light can mediate a long range interaction between atomic spins (similar to an exchange interaction) and cause a spontaneous phase transition of the spin polarisation to an ordered state (Suter 1993), in close analogy to ferromagnetism. Such interactions can be strongly enhanced when the atomic medium is placed in an optical resonator, where the photons undergo multiple passages through the medium (Mitschke et al. 1986; Boden, Dammig and Mitschke 1992; Hager and Kaiser 1992; Moller and Lange 1992).

If an ensemble of spins is excited with a radio-frequency pulse, they evolve coherently, always pointing in the same (time-dependent) direction. 34 Introduction In optical spectroscopy, however, atoms at different locations "see" fields with different phases and their induced electric dipole moments point in different directions. The induced polarisation of these atoms may still lead to a coherent radiation field, if their phase differs just by the amount that the field accumulates when it travels from one to the other.

This technique has been applied successfully in the far infrared region of the spectrum (Davies 1981). Since the width of the observed resonance lines is the same as that of the purely optical or vibrational transitions, this technique is not likely to provide sufficient resolution in the visible part of the spectrum, where the broadening mechanisms of the optical transitions, such as Doppler broadening and spontaneous emission from the excited state, are much larger than in the far infrared. Apart from the gain in sensitivity, the use of optical radiation also provides the option to perform magnetic resonance spectroscopy of electronically or vibrationally excited states (Geschwind, Collins and Schawlow 1959; Franken 1961; Breiland, Harris and Pines 1973; Bos, Buma and Schmidt 1985; Bitto and Huber 1990; Bitto, Levinger and Huber 1993).

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