Spontaneous emission and absorption properties of a driven three-level system.
Additional Document Info
We investigate the steady-state spontaneous emission spectrum of a three-level atom driven by two coherent fields and the absorption spectrum of a weak probe passing through a collection of such driven atoms. We find that the fluorescence spectrum is strongly affected by the decay rates of all the levels involved in the atomic evolution and not just by the decay parameters of the specific transition whose emission spectrum is being monitored. In particular, the spectral components can acquire very different widths and peak heights relative to the case of the standard resonance fluorescence in which a two-level system is driven by a single near-resonant field. An external probe signal passing through the gas of three-level atoms may be absorbed or amplified, as in the standard two-level case, but under specific operating conditions, amplification (or absorption) occurs over the entire range where the atomic response is appreciable. In this case the existence of amplification or absorption is controlled solely by the population difference between two dressed states of the system. We provide numerical results in support of our arguments for arbitrary values of the atomic and field parameters and also develop an analytic description in the limit of strong driving fields that leads to explicit line-shape and linewidth formulas. 1990 The American Physical Society.