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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 23 — Nov. 7, 2011
  • pp: 22535–22549

Bunching-induced optical nonlinearity and instability in cold atoms [Invited]

Joel A. Greenberg, Bonnie L. Schmittberger, and Daniel J. Gauthier  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 23, pp. 22535-22549 (2011)

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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.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(190.0190) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics
(190.4410) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, parametric processes
(190.4420) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, transverse effects in
(020.3320) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser cooling

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Materials and Spectroscopy

Original Manuscript: September 6, 2011
Revised Manuscript: October 16, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: October 20, 2011
Published: October 25, 2011

Virtual Issues
Nonlinear Optics (2011) Optical Materials Express

Joel A. Greenberg, Bonnie L. Schmittberger, and Daniel J. Gauthier, "Bunching-induced optical nonlinearity and instability in cold atoms [Invited]," Opt. Express 19, 22535-22549 (2011)

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