Local field contribution to the optical properties of multilevel coherent atomic media

Authors

  • J.Q. Shen,

    1. Division of Electromagnetic Theory, Alfvén Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Optical and Electromagnetic Research, Joint Research Centre of Photonics of KTH and ZJU, zijngang Campus, Zheijiang University, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
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  • S. He

    1. Division of Electromagnetic Theory, Alfvén Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Optical and Electromagnetic Research, Joint Research Centre of Photonics of KTH and ZJU, zijngang Campus, Zheijiang University, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

The local field contribution to some three- and four-level coherent atomic vapors is considered, and a significant modification to optical properties due to dipole-dipole interaction between neighboring atoms is discussed. It is found that the local field effect can reduce loss of a four-level N-type vapor medium at the resonant frequency in both the steady and transient cases. In order to achieve a left-handed medium with a negative refractive index, a scenario to realize simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability inside a mixed coherent atomic vapor by using quantum coherence effect is suggested. One of the remarkable features of the present scheme is such that it can lead to a controllable manipulation of negative refractive index of an atomic vapor by using external coupling and signal fields. This may be a new scheme to fabricate the negatively refracting materials based on quantum optical approach.

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