Interfering Optical Interactions: Phase Sensitive Absorption
Interference effects have been especially important in the development of new frontiers in physics. In this paper we will discuss a relatively new type of interference in laser-atom interactions, and our experimental studies of its properties, limitations, and applications1,2. The interference which we have been studying is between different optical processes which can individually lead to the excitation of the same atomic or molecular state. This interference has been identified3–5 as the cause of the suppression of multiphoton excitation of various atomic species when the density of the nonlinear medium is relatively high. The experiments we will discuss here can be extended in many new directions, including studies of propagation effects in nonlinear optical media, control of reaction products in laser induced ionization or dissociation, or control of photoelectron angular distributions.
KeywordsMercury Platinum Argon Coherence Sine
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