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Dynamics of Low Density Rydberg Gases

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Brekke, Erik; Day, Jason O.; Walker, Thad G.
Jun 09, 2008
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.
Poster presented at DAMOP 2008.
National Science Foundation
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