Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 2, January 2006
Page(s) 218 - 224
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 02 December 2005
Europhys. Lett., 73 (2), pp. 218-224 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10371-0

Observation of superluminal and slow light propagation in erbium-doped optical fiber

A. Schweinsberg1, N. N. Lepeshkin1, 2, M. S. Bigelow1, 3, R. W. Boyd1 and S. Jarabo4

1  The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester - Rochester, NY 14627, USA
2  San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
3  The United States Air Force Academy - Colorado Springs, CO 80840, USA
4  Departamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

received 1 September 2005; accepted in final form 9 November 2005
published online 2 December 2005

We observe both extremely slow and superluminal pulse propagation speeds at room temperature in an erbium-doped fiber (EDF). A signal at 1550$\un{nm}$ is sent through an erbium-doped fiber with varying powers of a 980$\un{nm}$ pump. The degree of signal delay or advancement is found to depend significantly on the pump intensity. We observe a maximum fractional advancement of 0.124 and a maximum fractional delay of 0.089. The effect is demonstrated both for a sinusoidally modulated signal and for Gaussian pulses. The ability to control the sign and magnitude of the pulse velocity could have important implications for applications in photonics.

42.65.-k - Nonlinear optics.
42.81.Dp - Propagation, scattering, and losses; solitons.

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