Quantum Optics at the Optical Sciences Center is traced from a gleam in Steve Jacobs’ eyes to a world class set of endeavors. The people involved include Jacobs, Scully, Sargent, Lamb, Hopf, Shoemaker, Meystre, Chow, Rogovin, Franken, Gibbs, Khitrova, Peyghambarian, Wright, Moloney, Lindberg, Koch and their students. The research areas include a wide variety of nonlinear interactions of electromagnetic radiation with atomic, molecular, and solid state matter. The theories in these investigations range from classical to semiclassical to fully quantal.
Coherent energy transfer gives rise to a new peak and dip in the probe gain spectrum that move proportionally with the intracavity injected power, showing that stimulated emission and absorption significantly speed up the semiconductor response.
Injection of a cw narrow-band laser beam into a lasing vertical- cavity surface-emitting laser results in the appearance of new frequencies on the way to injection locking as predicted by our theoretical model. Injection also causes a local asymmetric modification of the lasing line, resulting in a new gain peak at a lower frequency and a dip on the high-frequency side. The peak and dip move out directly as the intracavity injected power, as predicted by our quantum mechanical theory.
Interactions of sidemodes in a semiconductor gain medium in the presence of an oscillating mode are studied both for beat frequencies comparable to interband relaxation rates as well as those comparable to intraband relaxation rates. The former applies to the complete many-body theory, provided the strong mode Rabi frequency is small compared to the intraband relaxation rates. Population pulsations play an important role in both cases, with spectral hole burning playing an equally important role for the large beat frequency case.
This paper summarizes a simple single-mode theory of a semiconductor laser and two kinds of multimode
extensions. The theories are based on an quasi-equilibrium Fermi-Dirac model of a two-band
semiconductor laser gain medium. We include cavity boundary conditions and find the laser single-mode
steady-state oscillation intensity. The question as to when sidemodes can build up leads to consideration
of a theory of multiwave mixing in the semiconductor medium. This theory is also useful in saturation
spectroscopy and phase conjugation using such media, but it does not predict the saturation behavior of
the sidemodes. We mention a third-order multimode theory of the laser that allows for sidemode saturation
and includes the many-body effects of band-gap renormalization and Coulomb enhancement. These
multimode theories assume that the intermode beat frequencies are small compared to the carrier-carrier
scattering rate, an assumption that should be valid for external-mirror semiconductor lasers. Using a
simple model for the beat frequencies comparable to the carrier-carrier scattering rate, we find two-level
inhomogeously broadened sidemode gain and coupling coefficients. Population pulsations and spectral
hole burning play approximately equal roles in this theory.