Stopping light via hot atoms. Academic Article uri icon


  • We prove that it is possible to freeze a light pulse (i.e., to bring it to a full stop) or even to make its group velocity negative in a coherently driven Doppler broadened atomic medium via electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). This remarkable phenomenon of the ultraslow EIT polariton is based on the spatial dispersion of the refraction index n(omega,k), i.e., its wave number dependence, which is due to atomic motion and provides a negative contribution to the group velocity. This is related to, but qualitatively different from, the recently observed light slowing caused by large temporal (frequency) dispersion.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Kocharovskaya, O., Rostovtsev, Y., & Scully, M. O.

citation count

  • 261

complete list of authors

  • Kocharovskaya, O||Rostovtsev, Y||Scully, MO

publication date

  • January 2001