We show experimentally that the presence of a buffer gas in a rubidium vapor cell modifies significantly the nonlinear magneto-optical rotation of polarization of near-resonant light propagating through the cell. We observe not only the well-known narrowing of the nonlinear magneto-optical resonances, but also changes in their shape and visibility. We explain these effects in terms of coherence-preserving, velocity-changing collisions between rubidium and buffer gas atoms.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(020.1670) Atomic and molecular physics : Coherent optical effects
(020.2070) Atomic and molecular physics : Effects of collisions
(020.3690) Atomic and molecular physics : Line shapes and shifts
(020.7490) Atomic and molecular physics : Zeeman effect
(270.1670) Quantum optics : Coherent optical effects
Irina Novikova, Andrey B. Matsko, and George R. Welch, "Influence of a buffer gas on nonlinear magneto-optical polarization rotation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 44-56 (2005)