Quenching of spontaneous emission via quantum interference
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A four-level atom, driven by a coherent field, is considered. We show that under certain conditions complete quenching of spontaneous emission is possible. Hence the population inversion on some specific atomic transitions can be created using a very weak incoherent pumping. We investigate the physics of the effect using bare and dressed states. The proposed scheme may be useful, in principle, for generation of high-frequency and/or high power laser light. 1997 The American Physical Society.