Abstract

The absorption of a resonant coupling laser driving a closed degenerate two-level system in an atomic cesium beam was investigated as a function of the detuning of a second laser probing the same transition. The measurements were performed for four different polarization combinations of the two laser beams. Except for the beams of counterrotating polarizations all coupling-laser absorption profiles showed “absorption within transparency,” i.e., the absorption in the region around the two-photon resonance was smaller than the absorption corresponding to the one-photon transition induced by the coupling laser, and an extra absorption peak was observed on this curve at the two-photon resonance. With regard to the beams of counter rotating polarizations we observed a switch from absorption within transparency to “transparency within transparency” when the probe-laser power exceeded the constant coupling-laser power. In other words, the cesium ensemble became mostly transparent to the coupling-laser beam at the two-photon resonance.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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