Measurement of the Time Evolution of Coherent Excitation (STIRAP)

H. A. Camp, M. A. Gearba, M. Shah, B. D. DePaola
(J. R. Macdonald Lab, Kansas State University),

S. R. Lundeen
(Dept. of Physics, Colorado State Univ.),

R. Bredy
(Univ. Lyon, France)

Measurements of the time evolution of coherent excitation have traditionally been problematic since actively probing states with a laser destroys the very coherence under study, and passively measuring spontaneous emission means poor temporal resolution as well as the complications of cascade effects. By contrast, using charge transfer from the coherently excited target to a beam of ions, one can efficiently probe the target non-destructively. Here, this novel diagnostic is used to explore the time dependence of the populations in a three-level system that is coherently excited using the STIRAP (stimulated Raman adiabatic passage) method. Using STIRAP, a maximum of roughly 50% of the target atoms are placed in the 4d state of Rb, with only a few percent in the 5p, and the remainder in the 5s. The dynamics of the populations are measured with a time resolution of about 2 ns.

This work was supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division,
Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.

Submitted to DAMOP, May 2004 in Tucson, AZ.

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