Fast causal information transmission in a medium with a slow group velocity

Michael D. Stenner, Daniel J. Gauthier, Mark A. Neifeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is widely believed that the velocity of information νi encoded on an optical pulse is equal to the group velocity νg, at least when νg is less than the speed of light in vacuum c. On the other hand, several authors suggest that νi = c, although the size of the signal traveling at this velocity may be small, thereby making it difficult to measure. Here, we measure νi for pulses propagating through a resonant "slow-light" medium where νg ≈ 0.006c. We find νi ≈ 1.03c-0.25c+0.49c, or that νi χ 168νg clearly demonstrating that the speed of information cannot be generally described by νg, but is characterized by its own velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053902
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume94
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 11 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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