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The effects of Coherent excitation of a two level system with a linearly chirped pulse are studied theoretically and experimentally (in Rb (5s - 5p)) in the low field regime. The Coherent Transients are measured directly on the excited state population on an ultrashort time scale. A sharp step corresponds to the passage through resonance. It is followed by oscillations resulting from interferences between off-resonant and resonant contributions. We finally show the equivalence between this experiment and Fresnel diffraction by a sharp edge.doi:10.1103/physrevlett.87.033001 pmid:11461552 fatcat:22wihd7z45hvtnfrn2paggzcwa