Abstract

We consider the coherent-population-trapping (CPT) phenomenon in a sodium atomic vapor. The experiment leading to the first observation of CPT is revisited with an improved experimental setup and a larger range of magnetic-field strengths. From the analysis of the ground-state hyperfine splitting as a function of the applied magnetic field, we conclude that we have observed the whole spectrum of dark resonances within the D1 line corresponding to the nonabsorbing coherent superposition of two Zeeman sublevels of two different components of the 32S1/2 level. This was not obvious a priori because the transition probabilities at high magnetic-field strengths, as applied in the experiment, have to be taken into account. The differences in the contrast of the various black lines are explained in terms of pumpings outside the interaction scheme preparing the nonabsorbing state. Possible applications of CPT in high magnetic fields are discussed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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