Nonlinear beam shaping by a cloud of cold Rb atoms

  • G. Labeyrie
  • T. Ackemann
  • B. Klappauf
  • M. Pesch
  • G.L. Lippi
  • R. Kaiser

Abstract:

First experimental investigations are reported on nonlinear beam shaping due to the interaction between an intense laser beam and a cloud of laser cooled rubidium atoms. Resonant excitation of the F = 3 ↔ F = 4 hyperfine transition is considered. The single-pass interaction through the cold vapor causes an increase in the laser beam intensity in the forward direction (zero transverse wavevector component) when observed in Fourier space, for sufficiently high values of saturation. A qualitative explanation of the observations based on a two-level model for a resonantly excited transition proves acceptable. The observations are compatible with an interpretation based on nonlinear index-induced focusing of an incident beam with curved wavefront, as is used in z-scan measurements. Simple physical considerations allow us to deduce the conditions for the observability of optical patterns in the beam transmitted by a cold atomic cloud.

PACS. 42.65.Jx Beam trapping, self-focussing, and thermal blooming – 32.80.Pj Optical cooling of atoms; trapping – 42.65.Sf Dynamics of nonlinear optical systems; optical instabilities, optical chaos and complexity, and optical spatio-temporal dynamics 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Società Italiana di Fisica 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Labeyrie
    • 1
  • T. Ackemann
    • 2
  • B. Klappauf
    • 3
  • M. Pesch
    • 2
  • G.L. Lippi
    • 4
  • R. Kaiser
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Ondes et Désordre, 1361 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, FranceFR
  2. 2.Institut für Angewandte Physik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstraße 2/4, 48149 Münster, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Optoelectronics Research Center, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKGB
  4. 4.Institut Non Linéaire de Nice, 1361 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, FranceFR

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