There has recently been considerable interest in nonlinear optical interactions in which two different processes compete with one another. In this paper, we review some recent work in this area, and describe the results of our own investigation of competition between four-wave mixing and amplified spontaneous emission. We find that under two-photon excitation of the sodium 3d level, new optical frequency components can be generated either by amplified spontaneous emission at the 3d→3p transition frequency or by a resonantly enhanced four-wave mixing process. We have observed competition between these two processes, resulting in the suppression of amplified spontaneous emission. The transfer of population to the 3d level is inhibited by the destructive interference between two different pathways connecting the ground and upper levels.
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Malcuit, M.S., Gauthier, D.J. & Boyd, R.W. Competition between four-wave mixing and amplified spontaneous emission. Hyperfine Interact 37, 125–139 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02395707
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