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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 18;109(38):15185-90. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Coherence brightened laser source for atmospheric remote sensing.

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  • 1Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

Abstract

We have studied coherent emission from ambient air and demonstrated efficient generation of laser-like beams directed both forward and backward with respect to a nanosecond ultraviolet pumping laser beam. The generated optical gain is a result of two-photon photolysis of atmospheric O(2), followed by two-photon excitation of atomic oxygen. We have analyzed the temporal shapes of the emitted pulses and have observed very short duration intensity spikes as well as a large Rabi frequency that corresponds to the emitted field. Our results suggest that the emission process exhibits nonadiabatic atomic coherence, which is similar in nature to Dicke superradiance where atomic coherence is large and can be contrasted with ordinary lasing where atomic coherence is negligible. This atomic coherence in oxygen adds insight to the optical emission physics and holds promise for remote sensing techniques employing nonlinear spectroscopy.

PMID:
22949687
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3458316
Free PMC Article
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