Successive oscillatory fields at radio to optical frequencies

Research paper by N. F. Ramsey

Indexed on: 01 Feb '95Published on: 01 Feb '95Published in: Applied Physics B


The methods of separated or successive oscillatory fields (often called Ramsey methods) are described for radio, microwave and optical coherent radiation. The methods are initially described qualitatively. The quantitative theories of the methods are also given. For a two-level system at radio frequencies exact expressions for the transition probability amplitudes for an arbitrary number of successive oscillatory regions can be found in terms of products of successive transformation matrices. The expressions are greatly simplified if the oscillatory-field regions are very short. If there are only two oscillatory-field regions the situation is similar to a Young's two-slit interference pattern except that the two paths are separated in spin space rather than normal space. Some results from more than two oscillatory regions are discussed. The extensions of the methods and the theories to optical frequencies are described. The advantages and disadvantages of the methods are given as are the many extensions of the method beyond the original concept.