Coherent spectroscopy

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Spectroscopy is the study of light through light-matter interactions.

There are three main types of interactions:

  • Quantized interactions in which involved molecules (Here: atoms, full or parts of molecules or crystals,..) jump from a stationary state to another stationary state. It is the most usual spectroscopy.
  • Coherent interactions in which the involved molecules are excited to a non-stationary state during the interaction and return to their initial state. A detectable effect requires the coherence, that is the relations between the molecular parameters allowing the interaction (oscillating dipoles...) and the local electromagnetic fields are the same for all molecules.
  • Mixed interactions: coherent and involving transitions of some molecules; example : He-Ne lasers.

Except refraction which is widely used, the coherent interactions are generally studied using lasers, so that, due to the intensity of these sources, the effects depend non-linearly on the intensity of the lasers. Some interactions require an intensity threshold.

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