We give the theory of the free induction decay of two-level saturation resonances in the time-resolved laser saturation spectroscopy. The saturating and probe fields may be either co- or counter-propagating. The change-signal line-shape is analysed in detail in two cases of practical importance, namely when the saturating field is either strong or weak. The time evolution of the change-signal exhibits many interesting features which include Ramsey-type fringes, oscillatory decay, narrow resonances, line-narrowing etc. It is shown that by analysing the decay of the change-signal in time one can distinguish (i) various laser interaction processes such as population effects, coherence effects, three-photon Raman-type process, dynamic Stark splitting, power-broadening etc., and (ii) various relaxation mechanisms such as phase-changing collisions, etc.
Volume 94, 2020
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