PARTIALLY COHERENT PULSE PROPAGATION IN RESONANT LINEAR AND NONLINEAR MEDIA
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Optical experiments reveal the fact that real laser pulses have random fluctuations in their amplitude and phase that crucially affect pulse evolution. Statistical optics considers the random nature of light to give a more realistic description of laser pulses behavior. Generation of ultrashort pulses, operating at frequencies close to internal transition frequencies of medium atoms, motivated the growing interest in studying on-resonance light-matter interactions. Moreover, there exist optical phenomena that only occur at optical resonance. Thus, near resonance light-matter interactions are of great importance. In this dissertation, statistical properties of ultrashort pulses propagating in different linear and nonlinear media near optical resonance is studied. Various partially coherent pulses are simulated and effects of initial statistical properties of pulses on their propagation in resonant absorbing and amplifying media are explored. The research performed throughout this thesis leads to following results. 1- Various classes of ultrashort self-similar partially coherent pulses are explored along with closed form expressions for their correlation functions. Also, the evolution of coherence properties of pulses upon their short-distance and long-distance propagation is investigated. 2- Generic partially coherent pulses are simulated and their global and local correlation properties upon propagation in resonant linear absorber media are studied. The evolution of the coherence functions of pulses shows that partially coherent pulses are strongly affected by the medium regarding to their coherence levels. A correlation area theorem is also derived to describe global correlation properties of stochastic pulses propagating in such media. 3- Evolution of small-area pulse coherence properties, propagating in linear amplifiers near optical resonance, is studied. Our simulation results reveal that more coherent pulses are amplified more effectively by the medium than are their less coherent counterparts. 4- Propagation of partially coherent pulses in resonant, inhomogenously broadened nonlinear media is simulated. Stochastic pulses of different coherence levels are generated to investigate effects of initial properties of pulses on their long-term evolution. We also provide evidence of self-induced transparency phenomena and soliton formation for relatively coherent pulses. Also, evolution of the coherence functions reveal that low-coherence pulses lose their coherence level upon propagation faster than do highly coherent pulses.
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