We report observation of coherent transient amplification that is due to free-induction decay and optical nutation in inhomogeneously broadened rubidium atoms by a sudden switch of diode-laser frequency. An amplification coefficient of 2.2 × 10−2 cm−1 is observed when the diode-laser frequency, initially tuned to the blue side of the Doppler-broadened absorption profile, is switched to be out of resonance by application of a step-function pulsed injection current. The transition from free-induction decay to optical nutation is observed and discussed.
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