Abstract

We investigated coherent transient oscillations in the transmission intensity of a frequency-modulated probe-laser beam through a sample of trapped atoms. The transients occur when the frequency of the probe-laser beam crosses a resonance of the atoms in a time of the order of the lifetime of the excited state. A theoretical description used previously to explain transient effects observed in Mössbauer spectroscopy has been developed further to adapt for the specific frequency- and amplitude-modulation characteristics of current-modulated laser diodes. The transients were recorded at various experimental parameters, and the results of the experiments were compared with results obtained from slow frequency sweeps and independent measurements of the modulation characteristics of the laser. The results show that the theory accurately explains the coherent transient phenomena.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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