Optical pattern formation with a two-level nonlinearity

A. Camara, R. Kaiser, G. Labeyrie, W. J. Firth, G.-L. Oppo, G. R. M. Robb, A.S Arnold, T. Ackemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of spontaneous pattern formation in the transverse section of a single retroreflected laser beam passing through a cloud of cold rubidium atoms. In contrast to previously investigated systems, the nonlinearity at work here is that of a two-level atom, which realizes the paradigmatic situation considered in many theoretical studies of optical pattern formation. In particular, we are able to observe the disappearance of the patterns at high intensity due to the intrinsic saturable character of two-level atomic transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013820
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2015


  • atom lasers
  • laser beams
  • atomic transition
  • cold rubidium atoms
  • high intensity
  • optical pattern formation
  • spontaneous pattern formation
  • theoretical investigations
  • theoretical study
  • transverse section


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical pattern formation with a two-level nonlinearity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this