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Light scattering

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Light scattering of monochromatic radiation by atoms and dilute vapours is reviewed. The relative contributions of incoherent and coherent scattering are calculated for weak incident fields. It is shown that, to lowest order in the intensity of the driving field, there can be several inelastic components in the scattered spectrum. The positions and widths of these components are related to light shifts and optical pumping of the atoms in the field. The complications that one encounters in scattering by two atoms, moving atoms, and atomic ensembles are discussed in qualitative terms.

Keywords: Rayleigh scattering; light scattering

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics and Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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