Transmission of light through an atomic sample placed between crossed polarizers in a magnetic field is jointly determined by Faraday rotation and net absorption: Transmission increases with rotation and decreases with absorption. Both rotation and absorption are proportional to the atomic density N_0; hence, in a certain range of N_0, the two effects may compete, yielding a distinct density dependence of the transmitted light. We have studied such dependence in rubidium vapor for N_0 of approximately 6.0×10^9 to 3.0×10^11 atoms/cm3 with resonant laser light. We present interpretation of the competition effect and discuss its possible application for atomic density determination.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Szymon Pustelny, Wojciech Lewoczko, and Wojciech Gawlik, "Density effects in forward scattering of resonant light in rubidium vapor," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 37-43 (2005)