Abstract

A general, analytic theory is presented of the excitation of a two-level atom by a series of short optical laser pulses. The atom is assumed to be isolated (collisionless) with radiative decay from upper to lower state at rate γ. The laser pulses are assumed to have a duration tp such that γtp ≪ 1 (the transient regime), and the spacing between pulses tr is such that trtp. In this regime the atomic density matrix is calculated as a function of time during each optical pulse. An analytic expression for the atomic state (Bloch vector) after n optical pulses is also derived. For large n the atomic state converges to a repeating (steady state) cycle of pump excitation followed by radiative decay. The excited-state population in the steady state can be large but only if the spacing between pulses tr is small so that γtr ≲ 0.5. These results indicate that lasers that produce trains of pulses, such as mode-locked conventional lasers and free-electron lasers, can be effective in optical pumping of atoms.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
More Like This
Absorption spectra of pulse-train-excited sodium two-level atoms

E. Krüger
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 12(1) 15-24 (1995)

Pulse-train excitation of sodium for use as a synthetic beacon

Lee C. Bradley
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 9(10) 1931-1944 (1992)

Theory of mesospheric sodium fluorescence excited by pulse trains

P. W. Milonni and L. E. Thode
Appl. Opt. 31(6) 785-800 (1992)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (47)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription