Bunching-induced optical nonlinearity and instability in cold atoms [Invited].
Repository Usage Stats
We report a new nonlinear optical process that occurs in a cloud of cold atoms at low-light-levels when the incident optical fields simultaneously polarize, cool, and spatially-organize the atoms. We observe an extremely large effective fifth-order nonlinear susceptibility of χ(⁵) = 7.6 × 10⁻¹⁵ (m/V)⁴, which results in efficient Bragg scattering via six-wave mixing, slow group velocities (∼ c/10⁵), and enhanced atomic coherence times (> 100 μs). In addition, this process is particularly sensitive to the atomic temperatures, and provides a new tool for in-situ monitoring of the atomic momentum distribution in an optical lattice. For sufficiently large light-matter couplings, we observe an optical instability for intensities as low as ∼ 1 mW/cm² in which new, intense beams of light are generated and result in the formation of controllable transverse optical patterns.
More InfoShow full item record
Research Professor of Physics
Prof. Gauthier is interested in a broad range of topics in the fields of nonlinear and quantum optics, and nonlinear dynamical systems. In the area of optical physics, his group is studying the fundamental characteristics of highly nonlinear light-matter interactions at both the classical and quantum levels and is using this understanding to develop practical devices. At the quantum level, his group has three major efforts in the area of quantum communication and networking. I