Abstract

We demonstrate temporal coherent control in two-photon transitions. A pair of broadband (Δλ20nm), ultrashort (Δt100fs), collinear pulses with a variable time delay excites the rubidium atoms into the 5D state from the 5S ground state where the two-photon transitions are enhanced by the intermediate level 5P. The excited atoms radiate 5μm (5D6P) and 420nm (6P5S) light. As a result of tuning the wavelength of the input laser, a superfluorescence at 420nm exhibits different temporal behaviors. A switching from a beating at the frequency given by the difference between the sequential atomic transitions that involve the 5P3/2 intermediate level, to a quantum beating due to two different two-photon excitation paths, 5S5P1/25D and 5S5P3/25D is observed. Based on the simple atom-field interaction theory, an analytic solution, which qualitatively elucidates experimental results, is obtained.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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