A quasi-continuous superradiant Raman laser with < 1 intracavity photon
1 JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, and Dept. of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA
2 Current Affiliation: Tech-X Corp., 5621 Arapahoe Ave. Ste. A, Boulder, Colorado 80303, USA
a e-mail: email@example.com
Steady-state collective emission from ensembles of laser cooled atoms has been proposed as a method for generating sub-millihertz linewidth optical lasers, with potential for broad impacts across science and technology. We have built a model system that tests key predictions for such active oscillators using a Raman laser with laser cooled atoms as the gain medium. The laser operates deep in the bad-cavity, or superradiant, regime of laser physics, where the cavity decay rate is much greater than the atomic coherence decay rate. Specifically, we demonstrate that a system of 106 87Rb atoms trapped in a 1D standing wave optical lattice can spontaneously synchronize and collectively emit a quasi-continuous coherent optical output, even when the intracavity field contains on average < 1 photon.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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