Breakdown of the area theorem: carrier-wave Rabi flopping of femtosecond optical pulses

  • Hughes S
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Abstract

Summary form only. The development of high-intensity ultrashort optical pulses has lead to a number of fascinating nonlinear optical propagation studies including Rabi flopping, self-induced transparency, and photon echo, to name but a few. Common to the description of these effects, is that their propagation phenomena can be described quite adequately by employing the appropriate coupled matter-Maxwell equations within the slowly-varying-envelope approximation (SVEA), i.e., the envelopes of the electromagnetic field and polarization are assumed to vary little over an optical period and wavelength. However, for several-cycle optical pulses this approximation becomes seriously questionable

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  • S. Hughes

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