New Phenomena in Coherent Optical Transients
It is often stated, and with justification, that the concepts underlying coherent optical transient phenomena can be found in the literature of spin transients. For example, the Bloch vector  description of spin echoes  and free precession  applies equally well to photon echoes  and optical free induction decay . While this conclusion remains largely true, it is not equally valid to say that the techniques are the same or to prophesy that the applications of optical and rf transients are identical also. In fact, the decay channels of optically excited atoms, molecules and solids usually involve a variety of interactions which contrast with the magnetic interactions encountered in spin resonance. This is a major distinction, one which has permitted new studies at optical frequencies. Moreover, it is also true that some of the practioners of magnetic resonance are beginning to learn a few lessons from quantum optics as well. In this paper, we have selected some of the new developments which are representative of the field of coherent optical transients.
KeywordsFree Induction Decay Spin Echo Superposition State Bloch Vector Photon Echo
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