A scenario for realizing simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability of a two-photon quantum-coherent atomic vapor is suggested in order to achieve a left-handed atomic medium with a negative refractive index. One of the remarkable features of the present scheme is that it can lead to a controllable manipulation of the negative refractive index of the atomic vapor. Since the electric- and magnetic-dipole allowed transitions of atoms can be excited by visible and infrared lightwaves, the refractive index of the atomic vapor can exhibit its negative refractive index at optical and near-optical frequency bands. This may be a new scheme to fabricate a negatively refracting material based on the quantum optical approach. Such a three-dimensionally isotropic negative refractive index at visible and infrared wavelengths induced by the two-photon-resonant quantum coherence would find a potential application in fabrication of superlenses for perfect imaging and subwavelength focusing.
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