## Abstract

The SU(3) dynamical evolution of three-level systems at two-photon resonance induced by two strong linearly polarized monochromatic fields is studied exactly by means of the semiclassical many-mode Floquet theory (MMFT) recently developed by the authors. Within the rotating-wave approximation (RWA), Hioe and Eberly have recently shown that the eight-dimensional SU(3) coherent vector S characterizing the time evolution of three-level systems can be factored into three independent vectors of dimensions three, four, and one, at appropriate two-photon resonance conditions. In practice, however, if the laser-atom interactions occur away from the two-photon resonance, or if the RWA is not valid, etc., this Gell-Manntype SU(3) dynamical symmetry will be broken. It is shown in this paper that instead of solving the time-dependent generalized Bloch equations, the SU(3) dynamical evolution of the coherent vector S as well as various symmetry-breaking effects can be expediently studied by the use of the MMFT and expressed in terms of a few time-independent quasienergy eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Furthermore, we have extended the generalized Van Vleck (GVV) nearly degenerate perturbation theory to an analytical treatment of the two-mode Floquet Hamiltonian. This reduces the infinite-dimensional time-independent Floquet Hamiltonian into a 3×3 effective Hamiltonian, from which useful analytical properties of the SU(3) coherent vector can be easily obtained. The combination of the MMFT and the GVV method thus greatly facilitates the study of the dynamical evolution. Pictorial comparison of the exact and the RWA results of the time evolution of the eight-dimensional coherent vector under several different physical conditions is presented and discussed at length.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 659-676 |

Number of pages | 18 |

Journal | Physical Review A |

Volume | 31 |

Issue number | 2 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1985 |

Externally published | Yes |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics