Abstract

We apply our quantum theory of nondegenerate multiwave mixing [ Phys. Rev. A 37, 2017 ( 1988)] to squeezed-state generation experiments with two-level atoms. Our main interest is to predict the amount of squeezing achievable with a Doppler-broadened two-level medium. We are particularly interested in the single-beam configuration, in which all four interacting beams are spatially degenerate. We analytically solve the coupled-mode quantum Langevin equations for nondegenerate four-wave mixing. The solutions are used to compute the amount of squeezing. In the computation the effects of pump–probe phase mismatch, collisions, Doppler broadening, and Gaussian-intensity variation are comprehensively taken into account for the first time to our knowledge. Simple rules of thumb as to where one can see squeezing in both degenerate- and nondegenerate-frequency cases are derived by examining the limit of a short medium. We then present the case of an infinitely long medium, in which maximum squeezing is achieved when there is no pump–probe phase mismatch. With the inclusion of pump–probe phase mismatch, however, the maximum amount of squeezing is obtained with a finite-length medium instead. This prompts us to investigate in detail the finite-length medium case. Our results show that the effects of Doppler broadening and Gaussian-intensity variation can be largely circumvented by detuning the pump frequency more than three Doppler half-widths from resonance and that good broadband squeezing can be achieved even with a Doppler-broadened medium that has a moderate amount of collision broadening. Under these circumstances it is found that the effect of pump self-focusing or defocusing will be the major factor that limits the amount of achievable squeezing. In particular, the spatially varying nonlinear refractive indices seen by the pump and the probe modes are quite different, which causes the former to become spatially mismatched with the latter in the region in which strong squeezing is otherwise expected.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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