Abstract

We report the observation of coherent UV light pulses by the coherent scattering of IR pulses from atomic rubidium vapor. Rubidium atoms were first excited by a 100fs pulse from the 5S ground state to the 5D state via a two-photon transition. The atoms were then pumped by an IR pulse resonant to the 5D–12P transition. The presence of the IR pulse triggered the instantaneous emission of a UV light pulse on the 12P–5S transition. The pulse had a time duration of tens of picoseconds, which was measured by a picosecond-resolution streak camera. The temporal shape of the generated light is explained by a simplified atom–field interaction theory.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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