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Lectures on LightNonlinear and Quantum Optics using the Density Matrix$
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Stephen C. Rand

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198757450

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757450.001.0001

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Transient Optical Response

Transient Optical Response

(p.83) 4 Transient Optical Response
Lectures on Light

Stephen C. Rand

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 treats the three most important coherent optical transient phenomena using primarily the Bloch vector model. One section is devoted to each effect: nutation, free induction decay, and the photon echo. Through this, the idea that steady-state response to light develops slowly, on a timescale set by inertia in the atom–field interaction, is introduced. Nutation is considered both with and without damping. In the last section, three possible approaches to describing the photon echo are briefly compared to gain perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of algebraic echo analysis, rotation matrix multiplication, or density matrix methodology. By the end of this chapter the reader is prepared for the remaining chapters in which the density matrix approach is used exclusively to calculate the effects of light on a wide variety of systems.

Keywords:   coherent optical transients, nutation, damping, free induction decay, photon echo, density matrix, rotation matrix, algebraic echo analysis, Bloch vector model

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