Two laser pulses that overlap in time have been successfully used for coherent excitation of a molecule or atom to a desired state. An intermediate state that is at or near resonance with the laser frequencies has been used in past experiments and calculations. Here we replace this intermediate state by a continuum of intermediate states. An analytic solution of a simple model suggests that the continuum can be used in such an excitation scheme, provided that the laser pulses are arranged in the so-called counter intuitive order. %'e use a special case of this solution to relate this work to ionization suppression and coherent population trapping.
Carroll, C. E. and Hioe, Foek T. (1993). "Selective excitation via the continuum and suppression of ionization." Physical Review A 47.1, 571-580.
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