Predicting and controlling quantum mechanical phenomena require knowledge of the system Hamiltonian. A detailed understanding of the quantum pathways used to construct the Hamiltonian is essential for deterministic control and improved performance of coherent control schemes. In complex systems, parameters characterizing the pathways, especially those associated with inter-particle interactions and coupling to the environment, can only be identified experimentally. Quantitative insight can be obtained provided the quantum pathways are isolated and independently analysed. Here we demonstrate this possibility in an atomic vapour using optical three-dimensional Fourier-transform spectroscopy. By unfolding the system's nonlinear response onto three frequency dimensions, three-dimensional spectra unambiguously reveal transition energies, relaxation rates and dipole moments of each pathway. The results demonstrate the unique capacity of this technique as a powerful tool for resolving the complex nature of quantum systems. This experiment is a critical step in the pursuit of complete experimental characterization of a system's Hamiltonian.
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