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Competition between sequential and direct paths in a two-photon transition

Two-photon excitation of a quantum ladder system by a chirped pulse leads to interferences in the excited-state population, due to the phase differences between direct and sequential paths. First, based on an analytical approach, we separate and discuss the features of the contributions arising from these two paths. Then interferences with two intermediate levels are observed experimentally in atomic sodium vapor. Interplay between the two sequential paths leads to strongly contrasted oscillations and a great enhancement of the transition probability for some values of the chirp.


Voir en ligne : Phys. Rev. A 68, 041402R (2003)