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Nonclassical excitation and quantum interference in a three level atom


Georgiades, Nikos Photakis (1998) Nonclassical excitation and quantum interference in a three level atom. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/EBHT-D777.


Non-classical properties and quantum interference (QI) in two-photon excitation of a three level atom (|1〉), |2〉, |3〉) in a ladder configuration, illuminated by multiple fields in non-classical (squeezed) and/or classical (coherent) states, is studied. Fundamentally new effects associated with quantum correlations in the squeezed fields and QI due to multiple excitation pathways have been observed. Theoretical studies and extrapolations of these findings have revealed possible applications which are far beyond any current capabilities, including ultrafast nonlinear mixing, ultrafast homodyne detection and frequency metrology. The atom used throughout the experiments was Cesium, which was magneto-optically trapped in a vapor cell to produce a Doppler-free sample. For the first part of the work the |1〉 → |2〉 → |3〉 transition (corresponding to the 6S1/2F = 4 → 6P3/2F' = 5 → 6D5/2F" = 6 transition) was excited by using the quantum-correlated signal (Ɛs) and idler (Ɛi) output fields of a subthreshold non-degenerate optical parametric oscillator, which was tuned so that the signal and idler fields were resonant with the |1〉 → |2〉 and |2〉 → |3〉 transitions, respectively. In contrast to excitation with classical fields for which the excitation rate as a function of intensity has always an exponent greater than or equal to two, excitation with squeezed-fields has been theoretically predicted to have an exponent that approaches unity for small enough intensities. This was verified experimentally by probing the exponent down to a slope of 1.3, demonstrating for the first time a purely non-classical effect associated with the interaction of squeezed fields and atoms. In the second part excitation of the two-photon transition by three phase coherent fields Ɛ1 , Ɛ2 and Ɛ0, resonant with the dipole |1〉 → |2〉 and |2〉 → |3〉 and quadrupole |1〉 → |3〉 transitions, respectively, is studied. QI in the excited state population is observed due to two alternative excitation pathways. This is equivalent to nonlinear mixing of the three excitation fields by the atom. Realizing that in the experiment the three fields are spaced in frequency over a range of 25 THz, and extending this scheme to other energy triplets and atoms, leads to the discovery that ranges up to 100's of THz can be bridged in a single mixing step. Motivated by these results, a master equation model has been developed for the system and its properties have been extensively studied.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Kimble, H. Jeff
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 December 1997
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04092015-084729125
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8818
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:09 Apr 2015 17:17
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 18:42

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