We demonstrate production of continuous coherent blue laser light by using a five-level system in rubidium vapor. Two low-power lasers, at 780 and , induce strong atomic coherence in the states. The atoms decay to the excited state, from which stimulated emission produces a coherent blue beam. We have coupled both ground-state hyperfine levels, effecting coherence between four levels. The coherent blue output is enhanced by several mechanisms, including stronger coupling to a larger fraction of the atomic population, operation at a detuning such that the vapor is nominally transparent to the pump field, reduced losses owing to optical pumping, and optimal phase matching. We report experimental findings and compare them with results from a semiclassical Maxwell–Bloch model.
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