Inversionless amplification in the three-level atoms with and without a hidden inversion in reservoir
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We consider the problem of amplification without inversion in a three-level atomic system. When atoms are driven by a field reservoir and a low-frequency coherent field, amplification of a high-frequency probe field may occur even when there is no population inversion on any atomic transition. We prove that, depending on the ratio of the probe and coherent drive field frequencies, which we term the frequency up-conversion factor, this process may or may not require hidden inversion in the field reservoir. In the special case of a frequency up-conversion factor less than 2, we demonstrate that amplification is possible even if the field reservoir is in complete thermal equilibrium: this represents a new kind of coherent radiation source, distinct from both conventional lasers and lasers without inversion. 1998 The American Physical Society.