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Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Sum-frequency generation in an ultracold atomic gas due to collective atomic recoil

Robb, G.R.M. and McNeil, B.W.J. (2006) Sum-frequency generation in an ultracold atomic gas due to collective atomic recoil. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 39 (22). ISSN 0953-4075

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Abstract

We describe a method for sum-frequency generation via non-degenerate four-wave mixing in classical (thermal) and quantum ultracold atomic gases (BEC). An integral part of the sum-frequency generation process is a collective instability which spontaneously generates a periodic density modulation in the atomic gas with a period comparable to the wavelength of the generated high-frequency optical field. Due to the generation of this density modulation, phase matching between the pump and generated fields is not a necessary initial condition for this sum-frequency generation process to occur: rather the density modulation acts to `self-phase-match' the fields during the course of the sum-frequency generation process. We describe a one-dimensional model of this process, and suggest a proof-of-principle experiment to demonstrate a regime where the sum-frequency generation process evolves quantum mechanically, with discrete emission of sum-frequency photons. This experiment would involve pumping ultracold Cs atoms in a high-finesse unidirectional cavity with three infrared pump fields to produce blue light as a series of hyperbolic secant pulses.