Cui-Li Cui, Jifeng Jia, Jin-Wei Gao
Sep 14, 2007
Physical Review A
We theoretically study the coherent interaction of a tripod-type atomic system with three laser fields, i.e., one probe and two coupling, or two probe and one coupling field. Our analytical and numerical results show that, when all three fields are on two-photon resonance, in addition to the Rabi frequencies of the coupling fields, the probe group velocities also depend on the spontaneous decay rates and the initial population distribution. So we can manipulate the probe pulses to achieve controllable ultraslow group velocities by preparing different initial atomic states. With an incoherent pump field applied, a narrow transparent window accompanied by abnormal dispersion may occur in the probe absorption spectrum, which then allows us to switch a probe pulse from ultraslow to superluminal propagation.