Anomalous ring-down effects and breakdown of the decay rate concept in optical cavities with negative group delay

Year: 2012

Authors: Lauprêtre T., Schwartz S., Ghosh R., Carusotto I., Goldfarb F., Bretenaker F.

Autors Affiliation: Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, CNRS-Université Paris Sud 11, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France; Thales Res and Technology, Campus Polytechnique, 1 avenue Augustin Fresnel, 91767 Palaiseau Cedex, France; School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India; INO-CNR BEC Center and Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, 38123 Povo, Trento, Italy

Abstract: The propagation of light pulses through negative group velocity media is known to give rise to a number of paradoxical situations that seem to violate causality. The solution of these paradoxes has triggered the investigation of a number of interesting and unexpected features of light propagation. Here, we report a combined theoretical and experimental study of the ring-down oscillations in optical cavities filled with a medium with a sufficiently negative frequency dispersion to give a negative round-trip group delay time. We theoretically anticipate that causality imposes the existence of additional resonance peaks in the cavity transmission, resulting in a non-exponential decay of the cavity field and in a breakdown of the cavity decay rate concept. Our predictions are validated by simulations and by an experiment using a room-temperature gas of metastable helium atoms in the detuned electromagnetically induced transparency regime as the cavity medium.


Volume: 14      Pages from: 043012  to: 043012

More Information: The authors acknowledge partial support from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, the Triangle de la Physique and the Indo-French Center for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR/CEFIPRA). IC acknowledges financial support from ERC through the QGBE grant.
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/4/043012

Citations: 18
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