Coherent control of refractive index in far-detuned systems
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Enhancement and control of the index of refraction in a mixture of two three-level atomic species that form a pair of far-detuned schemes under two-photon resonance has been studied. We employ the density-matrix approach to properly take population relaxation into account and to describe the interaction of each system with the electromagnetic fields. Both systems are driven by a corresponding far-detuned coherent field at one atomic transition and are probed by the same weak field. In the dressed-state basis, it represents a superposition of effective two-level subsystems with the positions, widths, and amplitudes of the resonances controlled by the driving fields and allows for efficient control of the susceptibility of the total system; leading to refractive index (RI) enhancement with vanishing absorption in the absence of amplification. We analyze the experimental implementation of such a system in a cell of Rb atoms with a natural abundance of isotopes. An upper limit estimate of the RI enhancement is obtained. 2011 American Physical Society.