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Phase-dependent light propagation in atomic vapors

Kajari-Schröder, Sarah and Morigi, Giovanna and Franke-Arnold, Sonja and Oppo, Gian-Luca (2007) Phase-dependent light propagation in atomic vapors. Physical Review A, 75 (1). 013816-1. ISSN 1094-1622

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Abstract

Light propagation in an atomic medium whose coupled energy levels form a -configuration exhibits a critical dependence on the input conditions. Depending on the relative phase of the input light fields, the response of the medium can be dramatically modified and switch from opaque to semitransparent. These different types of behavior are caused by the formation of coherences due to interference in the atomic excitations. Alkaline-earth-metal atoms with zero nuclear spin are ideal candidates for observing these phenomena which could offer new perspectives in control techniques in quantum electronics.