We present a general, semi-classical theory describing the interaction of an atom with an internal state consisting of a number of degenerate energy levels with static and oscillating magnetic fields. This general theory is applied to the metastable energy level of neon to determine the dynamics of the populations and coherences that are formed due to the interaction. Through these calculations we demonstrate how the interaction may be used for the internal state preparation of an atom.
- Received 28 August 2000
- Published 16 January 2001
© 2001 The American Physical Society