Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Irina Novikova

Committee Member

Todd D. Averett,

Committee Member

John B. Delos

Committee Member

Eugeniy E. Mikhailov

Committee Member

Mark Havey


In the last few decades, coherent light-atom interactions have opened unprecedented possibilities for the coherent control of atomic and optical quantum systems, paved the way for the practical realization of quantum information technologies, and allowed for the creation of novel quantum-enhanced sensors. This dissertation investigates the interaction of multiple near-resonant optical fields with hot rubidium atoms under the conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency. The main goal of the presented research is to address some fundamental challenges in using such systems for practical applications. The EIT effect relies on the strong coupling of an optical probe field and a collective long-lived ensemble of atomic spins by the means of a strong classical optical control field in a Lambda configuration. While optically-thick atomic vapor is necessary to achieve such a strong coupling regime, the increasing optical depth of the atomic ensemble also leads to the effective enhancement of other nonlinear light-atom interactions, such as the four-wave mixing effect. Here we discuss the possibility to control four-wave mixing in a three-level system without deteriorating the coherent properties of EIT by introducing an additional absorber resonant exclusively with the Stokes field. The exclusive detection of a weak probe field in the presence of a strong control field is a challenging experimental task, especially at the few-photon level. Many experiments employ polarization and/or frequency filtering to compete the task. We present an alternative filtering technique based on optical vortices for cases when the traditional methods are not sufficient or restrict the experimental arrangements. Finally, we demonstrate the possibility to manipulate the group velocity of a pulsed squeezed vacuum field by using the optical dispersion modification via Zeeman spin coherence in rubidium atoms. By changing the interaction condition, we demonstrate the switch between the ``slow'' and (for the first time) ``fast'' light regime. We also show that increased optical depth simultaneously leads to the enhancement of pulse advancement and the deterioration of squeezing fidelity in the output pulses.



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