Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The crossover resonance between the atomic transitions2 S 1/2(F=2)→2 P 1/2(F′=1, 2), observed in the saturation spectrum of sodium, was found to be sensitive to the atomic orientation of the ground state, produced by velocity selective optical pumping. For zero magnetic field and the same linear polarization of saturating and probing beam, a negative signal was recorded for the crossover, corresponding to an increase in absorption of the probing beam. Application of a sufficiently strong magnetic field perpendicular to the polarization vector causes the destruction of the alignment, leading to a change in sign for the crossover intensity, i.e., to an enhanced transmission of the probing beam. It was shown experimentally that an increase in the atomic transit time has the same effect. Using optical pumping theory all qualitative features could be accounted for.
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