Quantum theory of noise in phase conjugation by four-wave mixing in a two-level system
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A quantum theory of nearly degenerate backward four-wave mixing in a two-level atomic system is developed. The theory is used to calculate the quantum noise produced by a phase-conjugate mirror based on this system. The results indicate that in the case of pure radiative broadening the ideal quantum-noise limit is reached for relatively small pump-wave strengths and for relatively large probe-pump and pump-resonance detunings, so that the phase-conjugate reflectivity is far from its maximum value. Conversely, in the collisionally broadened case, operation closest to the quantum-noise limit occurs near the point of maximum reflectivity. 1997 The American Physical Society.