Transient dynamics and momentum redistribution in cold atoms via recoil-induced resonances
We use an optically dense anisotropic magneto-optical trap to study recoil-induced resonances (RIRs) in the transient high-gain regime. We find that two distinct mechanisms govern the atomic dynamics: the finite, frequency-dependent atomic response time and momentum-space population redistribution. At low input probe intensities, the residual Doppler width of the atoms, combined with the finite atomic response time, result in a linear transient hysteretic effect that modifies the locations, widths, and magnitudes of the resulting gain spectra depending on the sign of the scan chirp. When larger intensities (i.e., greater than a few μW/ cm2) are incident on the atomic sample for several μs, hole burning in the atomic sample momentum distribution leads to a coherent population redistribution that persists for approximately 100 μs. We propose using RIRs to engineer the atomic momentum distribution to enhance the nonlinear atom-photon coupling. We present a numerical model and compare the calculated and experimental results to verify our interpretation. © 2009 The American Physical Society.
Greenberg, JA; Gauthier, DJ
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