Abstract

We report an experimental observation of third-order nonlinear absorption by quantum interference in 87Rb atoms cooled and confined in a magneto-optic trap. A coupling laser creates electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) in a multilevel Rb system in which the third-order nonlinear absorption is enhanced by constructive quantum interference while the linear absorption is inhibited by destructive interference. Our experiment demonstrates the EIT system proposed by Harris and Yamamoto [Phys.  Rev.  Lett.   81, 3611 (1998)], which absorbs two photons but not one photon in the dressed-state picture.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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