We have employed chaotic and phase-diffusion models to study the effects of laser fourth-order coherence on polarization beats with phase-conjugation geometry in a four-level system (PBFS). We found that the temporal behavior of the beat signal depends on the stochastic properties of the lasers and the transverse relaxation rate of the transition. The modulation terms of the beat signal depend on the second-order coherence function, which is determined by the laser line shape. Inasmuch as different stochastic models of the laser field affect only the fourth-order coherence function, they have little influence on the general temporal modulation behavior of the beat signal. The different roles of phase fluctuation and amplitude fluctuation are pointed out. The cases that pump beams have either narrow-band or broadband linewidth are considered, and it is found that for both cases a Doppler-free precision in the measurement of the energy-level difference between two states that are dipolar forbidden from the ground state can be achieved. We also discuss the difference between the PBFS and ultrafast modulation spectroscopy from a physical viewpoint.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(030.6600) Coherence and statistical optics : Statistical optics
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(320.7110) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
Yanpeng Zhang, Liqun Sun, Tiantong Tang, and Panming Fu, "Fourth-order interference on polarization beats in a four-level system," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 17, 690-696 (2000)