Abstract

We observe pulse delays of up to twenty times the input pulse duration when 200ps laser pulses pass through a hot Rb 85 vapor cell. The pulse peak travels with a velocity equal to c20, and the energy transmission is 5%. For pulses with a linewidth greater than typical features in the atomic dispersion, pulse delay is predicted and observed for all center frequencies near resonance. Pulse advance is never observed. The measurements are in good agreement with a three-level linear-dispersion calculation. We are able to control the amount of delay by using a steady-state laser beam for optical pumping of the ground states prior to sending in the test pulse.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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