We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr Steven Wrathmall

Ogden, Thomas P., Whittaker, K. A., Keaveney, J., Wrathmall, S. A., Adams, C. S. & Potvliege, R. M. (2019). Quasisimultons in Thermal Atomic Vapors. Physical Review Letters 123(24): 243604

Author(s) from Durham


The propagation of two-color laser fields through optically thick atomic ensembles is studied. We
demonstrate how the interaction between these two fields spawns the formation of copropagating,
two-color solitonlike pulses akin to the simultons found by Konopnicki and Eberly [Phys. Rev. A 24,
2567 (1981)]. For the particular case of thermal Rb atoms exposed to a combination of a weak cw laser field
resonant on the D1 transition and a strong sub-ns laser pulse resonant on the D2 transition, simulton
formation is initiated by an interplay between the 5s1=2 − 5p1=2 and 5s1=2 − 5p3=2 coherences. The interplay
amplifies the D1 field at the arrival of the D2 pulse, producing a sech-squared pulse with a length of less than
10 μm. This amplification is demonstrated in a time-resolved measurement of the light transmitted through a
thin thermal cell. We find good agreement between experiment and a model that includes the hyperfine
structure of the relevant levels. With the addition of Rydberg dressing, quasisimultons may offer interesting
prospects for strong photon-photon interactions in a robust environment.