Abstract

Cross correlation refers to the situation in which the fluctuations in the fields of two or more lasers are correlated in some way. Recently, Thomas et al. [ Opt. Lett. 6, 298 ( 1981); Phys. Rev. Lett. 48, 867 ( 1982)] proposed the generation of cross correlation between two laser fields interacting with a three-level system as a means of reducing noise and went on to exploit this property in the observation of narrow Ramsay fringes. Dalton and Knight [ J. Phy. B 15, 3997 ( 1982)] discussed the theoretical aspects of cross correlation and showed that it produced interesting effects in population trapping for example. We have demonstrated that it has significant effects on the optical double-resonance (ODR) spectra [ J. Phys. B 17, L389 ( 1984)]. On the other hand, the effects of non-Lorentzian laser line shapes have been shown by various workers to have significant effects on a wide range of phenomena, such as multiphoton ionization, resonance fluorescence, and ODR. In this paper we present a theory of the interactions of lasers whose fluctuations are governed by the phase-diffusion process with atomic systems that includes the effects of cross correlation and non-Lorentzian line shapes. We derive the basic equations (which in general have to be solved numerically) and obtain analytic results in the case in which the line shape is approximately Lorentzian near line center but falls off faster than a Lorentzian in the wings. We believe that this analytic model shows all the essential features of the interplay between cross correlation and non-Lorentzian line shapes. The theory is applied to the ODR experiment. In particular, we find that the asymmetry of the spectra is strongly affected by these two features, and so is the ODR spectral line shape when the saturating laser intensity is close to the threshold for producing two peaks.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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