Dynamics of Low Density Rydberg Gases
Day, Jason O.
Walker, Thad G.
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A state-dependent stimulated emission probe was used to investigate the coherent and dynamic properties of cold Rydberg atoms. 87Rb atoms were excited to various nl Rydberg states from a MOT via continuous two-photon excitation. A stimulated emission probe laser was then used to bring the Rydberg atoms down to the 6P3/2 state,allowing detection of decay photons as a Rydberg atom detection method. Phase-matched four-wave mixing was also achieved and the angular dependence investigated. This coherent process is optimized when detuned from the Rydberg state, giving as much as 40% phase-matched light. In addition, the stimulated emission probe technique shows that radiative processes dominate the Rydberg population dynamics on a time scale much faster than the natural radiative lifetime. Modeling suggests superradiant emission may be the dominant factor.