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Excited state polarization altering optical filter

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #5721632.

An excited state polarization altering optical filter includes a vapor cell having a population of electrons with a plurality of energy levels that receive light and transmit light according to the received light. A first pulsed dye laser applies a beam of light by way of a circular polarizer to provide a first beam of light having a first polarization to the vapor cell. The first beam of light causes transitions of the electrons from one energy level to another energy level. A second pulsed dye laser applies a second beam of light with a second, differing, linear polarization to the vapor cell. The vapor cell differentially transmits the first and second beams of light in accordance with the differing polarizations. A delay path is provided for delaying the second beam of light before the second beam of light is applied to the vapor cell. The delay path is tuned by adjusting the length. A third laser applies a beam of light to the first and second lasers. The third laser may be an Nd:YAG laser.

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