Abstract: We show that it is possible to "store" quantum states of single-photon fields by mapping them onto collective meta-stable states of an optically dense, coherently driven medium inside an optical resonator. An adiabatic technique is suggested which allows to transfer non-classical correlations from traveling-wave single-photon wave-packets into atomic states and vise versa with nearly 100% efficiency. In contrast to previous approaches involving single atoms, the present technique does not require the strong coupling regime corresponding to high-Q micro-cavities. Instead, intracavity Electromagnetically Induced Transparency is used to achieve a strong coupling between the cavity mode and the atoms.
Abstract: The phase transition to mirrorless oscillation in resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing in double-A systems are studied analytically for the ideal case of infinite lifetimes of ground-state coherences. The stationary susceptibilities are obtained in all orders of the generated fields and analytic solutions of the coupled nonlinear differential equations for the field amplitudes are derived and discussed.
Abstract: Spontaneous emission and Lamb shift of atoms in absorbing dielectrics are discussed. A Green's-function approach is used based on the multipolar interaction Hamiltonian of a collection of atomic dipoles with the quantised radiation field. The rate of decay and level shifts are determined by the retarded Green's-function of the interacting electric displacement field, which is calculated from a Dyson equation describing multiple scattering. The positions of the atomic dipoles forming the dielectrics are assumed to be uncorrelated and a continuum approximation is used. The associated unphysical interactions between different atoms at the same location is eliminated by removing the point-interaction term from the free-space Green's-function (local field correction). For the case of an atom in a purely dispersive medium the spontaneous emission rate is altered by the well-known Lorentz local-field factor. In the presence of absorption a result different from previously suggested expressions is found and nearest-neighbour interactions are shown to be important.
Abstract: Local field effects on the rate of spontaneous emission and Lamb shift in a dense gas of atoms are discussed taking into account correlations of atomic center-of-mass coordinates. For this the exact retarded propagator in the medium is calculated in independent scattering approximation and employing a virtual-cavity model. The resulting changes of the atomic polarizability lead to modi cations of the medium response which can be of the same order of magnitude but of opposite sign than those due to local field corrections of the dielectric function derived by Morice, Castin, and Dalibard [Phys.Rev.A 51, 3896 (1995)].
Abstract: We identify form-stable coupled excitations of light and matter ("dark-state polaritons") associated with the propagation of quantum fields in Electromagnetically Induced Transparency. The properties of the dark-state polaritons such as the group velocity are determined by the mixing angle between light and matter components and can be controlled by an external coherent field as the pulse propagates. In particular, light pulses can be decelerated and "trapped" in which case their shape and quantum state are mapped onto metastable collective states of matter. Possible applications of this reversible coherent-control technique are discussed.
Abstract: We analyze systematic (classical) and fundamental (quantum) limitations of the sensitivity of optical magnetometers resulting from ac-Stark shifts. We show that incontrast to absorption-based techniques, the signal reduction associated with classical broadening can be compensated in magnetometers based on phase measurements using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). However due to ac-Stark associated quantum noise the signal-to-noise ratio of EIT-based magnetometers attains a maximum value at a certain laser intensity. This value is independent on the quantum statistics of the light and defines a standard quantum limit of sensitivity. We demonstrate that an EIT-based optical magnetometer in Faraday configuration is the best candidate to achieve the highest sensitivity of magnetic field detection and give a detailed analysis of such a device.
Abstract: We analyze the above-threshold behavior of a mirrorless parametric oscillator based on resonantly enhanced four wave mixing in a coherently driven dense atomic vapor. It is shown that, in the ideal limit, an arbitrary small flux of pump photons is sufficient to reach the oscillator threshold. We demonstrate that due to the large group velocity delays associated with coherent media, an extremely narrow oscillator linewidth is possible, making a narrow-band source of non-classical radiation feasible.
Abstract: We investigate the quantum properties of fields generated by resonantly enhanced wave mixing based on atomic coherence in Raman systems. We show that such a process can be used for generation of pairs of Stokes and anti-Stokes fields with nearly perfect quantum correlations, yielding almost complete (i.e. 100%) squeezing without the use of a cavity. We discuss the extension of the wave mixing interactions into the domain of a few interacting light quanta.
Abstract: Resonant optical pumping in dense atomic media is discussed, where the absorption length is less than the smallest characteristic dimension of the sample. It is shown that reabsorption and multiple scattering of spontaneous photons (radiation trapping) can substantially slow down the rate of optical pumping. A very slow relaxation out of the target state of the pump process is then sufficient to make optical pumping impossible. As model systems an inhomogeneously and a radiatively broadened 3-level system resonantly driven with a strong broad-band pump field are considered.
Abstract: We show that the physical mechanism of population transfer in a 3-level system with a closed loop of coherent couplings (loop-STIRAP) is not equivalent to an adiabatic rotation of the dark-state of the Hamiltonian but coresponds to a rotation of a higher-order trapping state in a generalized adiabatic basis. The concept of generalized adiabatic basis sets is used as a constructive toolto design pulse sequences for stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP) which give maximum population transfer also under conditions when the usual condition of adiabaticty is only poorly fulfilled. Under certain conditions for the pulses (generalized matched pulses) there exists a higher-order trapping state, which is an exact constant of motion and analytic solutions for the atomic dynamics can be derived.