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Propagation effects in atomic systems for ultrashort and long pulses: Control of the optical response

Faheel Hashmi 1
1 Théorie (LCAR)
LCAR - Laboratoire Collisions Agrégats Réactivité
Abstract : This thesis deals with the study of propagation effects experienced by weak light pulses as they propagate in atomic media driven by strong pulses. We explore both the ultra-short and long pulse regime and investigate the phenomena that arise at these different time scales. In the short pulse regime, a strongly driven two level atomic system presents transient light shifts, and non-adiabatic transitions occur between these adiabatic levels. We have studied a method to probe these light shifts in real time by propagating a weak probe through the medium. The light shifts enrich the spectrum of the probe and the probe gets shaped as a result. In this way a strongly driven two-level system can act as an active pulse shaper, and can introduce oscillations in the temporal profile of an ultra-short pulse at a time scale shorter than the pulse duration. We also show that by driving the system with two time delayed non-resonant strong fields, the non-adiabatic effects can be rendered phase dependent. This gives very sensitive phase control of the excited state population and can be used to formulate new techniques in interferometry. In the long pulse regime we present a new method of slowing light that can be realized in a double two-level system interacting with two orthogonally polarized light pulses that propagate along different axis. Spatio-temporal dependence of the total polarization induces a grating in the ground Zeeman coherence. The stronger of the two fields (the control field) is diffracted from this grating into the direction of the weak probe field compensating for the absorption of this latter field. A transparency window is thus created in the absorption spectrum of the probe leading to the slowing down of light. The transparency window exhibits characteristics similar to the one obtained by EIT (electromagnetic induced transparency) method. However, the important difference between our method and the traditional EIT method, is that ours doesn't rely on realizing dark state in the system. This may open the possibility of slowing down light in more complex atomic media. Moreover, when the linear absorptive response of the medium is cancelled in this manner, the nonlinear response becomes more important. In the situation where fields propagate in the same direction and have same frequency, two regimes have been investigated. For small optical depths, the effective susceptibility behaves as chi_lin exp[2 i phi] (with phi the phase difference between two fields). This renders phase control of the medium response, and the medium can be changed from an absorber to an amplifier, with normal or anomalous dispersion, by adjusting the relative phase phi.  In the regime of large optical thickness, phase saturation takes place and the effective susceptibility turns into chi_lin*, changing an absorber into an amplifier without effecting the dispersive response (chi_lin is linear susceptibility).
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Contributor : Faheel Hashmi <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 13, 2009 - 10:50:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 28, 2020 - 1:52:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 10:22:30 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00361143, version 1


Faheel Hashmi. Propagation effects in atomic systems for ultrashort and long pulses: Control of the optical response. Atomic Physics [physics.atom-ph]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2009. English. ⟨tel-00361143⟩



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