Coherent backscattering in nonlinear atomic media: Quantum Langevin approach
Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
In this theoretical paper, we investigate coherence properties of the near-resonant light scattered by two atoms exposed to a strong monochromatic field. To properly incorporate saturation effects, we use a quantum Langevin approach. In contrast to the standard optical Bloch equations, this method naturally provides the inelastic spectrum of the radiated light induced by the quantum electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations. However, to get the right spectral properties of the scattered light, it is
... ssential to correctly describe the statistical properties of these vacuum fluctuations. Because of the presence of the two atoms, these statistical properties are not Gaussian : (i) the spatial two-points correlation function displays a speckle-like behavior and (ii) the three-points correlation function does not vanish. We also explain how to incorporate in a simple way propagation with a frequency-dependent scattering mean-free path, meaning that the two atoms are embedded in an average scattering dispersive medium. Finally we show that saturation-induced nonlinearities strongly modify the atomic scattering properties and, as a consequence, provide a source of decoherence in multiple scattering. This is exemplified by considering the coherent backscattering configuration where interference effects are blurred by this decoherence mechanism. This leads to a decrease of the so-called coherent backscattering enhancement factor.