## Abstract

We present a theory describing the transients and rise times of the refractive Kerr nonlinearity which is enhanced using electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). We restrict our analysis to the case of a pulsed signal field with continuous-wave EIT fields, and all fields are well below saturation. These restrictions enable the reduction of an EIT Kerr, four-level, density-matrix equation to a two-level Bloch-vector equation which has a simple and physically intuitive algebraic solution. The physically intuitive picture of a two-level Bloch vector provides insights that are easily generalized to more complex and experimentally realistic models. We consider generalization to the cases of Doppler broadening, many-level EIT systems (we consider the D1 line of Rb87), and optically thick media. For the case of optically thick media we find that the rise time of the refractive EIT Kerr effect is proportional to the optical thickness. The rise time of the refractive EIT Kerr effect sets important limitations for potential few-photon applications.

Original language | American English |
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Article number | 013812 |

Journal | Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics |

Volume | 74 |

Issue number | 1 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2006 |

Externally published | Yes |