Zeeman Coherence Effects in Absorptive Polarization Bistability
The phenomenon of optical bistability (OB) is usually treated within the framework of a single optical mode interacting with a two-level system.1 Recently, attention has been paid to OB in three-level systems.2–10 Here, the physical process of transverse optical pumping,11 related to coherent population trapping, plays an important role. Of particular interest is the case of J = 1 → J = 0 transition of an atomic system wherein orthogonally circular-polarized components of a single incident beam interact with m = ± 1 ground state Zeeman sublevels (Λ-configuration). Depending on polarization characteristics of the incident beam, OB is observed in the beam intensity, the beam polarization, or both. Two-photon-induced Zeeman coherence is expected to play a significant role in such systems. In most of previous work,2–10 however, Zeeman coherence effects have been either ignored or incorporated only within the framework of a closed three-level system.
KeywordsBeam Polarization ZEEMAN Splitting Optical Bistability Polarization Ellipse Coherent Population Trapping
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