The ultrafast optical switching phenomena in a dense medium of two-level atoms induced by arbitrary varying pulses are explained in terms of the adiabatic cancellation of the pulse by the induced polarization. The final population inversion of the medium after the passage of the pulse is found to depend on the number of oscillations the inversion exhibits during the time interval when the normalized pulse amplitude exceeds the maximum allowed value of the atomic polarization. If the inversion undergoes an integer number of oscillations in this region, then the final state of the system returns to the ground state. On the other hand, if the inversion undergoes a half integer number of oscillations in this region, the final state of the system is fully inverted. This behavior is explored analytically and illustrated numerically for the constant, sine and secant pulse shapes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics