Abstract

We observe a narrow, isolated, two-photon absorption resonance in  87Rb for large one-photon detuning in the presence of a buffer gas. In the absence of a buffer gas, a standard Λ configuration of two laser frequencies gives rise to electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) for all values of one-photon detuning throughout the inhomogeneously (Doppler) broadened line. However, when a buffer gas is added and the one-photon detuning is comparable to or greater than the Doppler width, an absorption resonance appears instead of the usual EIT resonance. We also observe a large negative group delay (≈-300 µs for a Gaussian pulse that propagates through the media with respect to a reference pulse not affected by the media), corresponding to a superluminal group velocity vg=-c/(3.6×106)=-84 m/s.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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