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A gigahertz-bandwidth atomic probe based on the slow-light Faraday effect.

Siddons, P. and Bell, N. C. and Cai, Y. and Adams, C. S. and Hughes, I. G. (2009) 'A gigahertz-bandwidth atomic probe based on the slow-light Faraday effect.', Nature photonics., 3 (4). pp. 225-229.

Abstract

The ability to probe quantum systems on short timescales is central to the advancement of quantum technology. Here we show that this is possible using an off-resonant dispersive probe. By applying a magnetic field to an atomic vapour the spectra of the group index for left and right circularly polarized light become displaced, leading to a slow-light Faraday effect that results in large dispersion and high transmission over tens of gigahertz. This large frequency range opens up the possibility of probing dynamics on a nanosecond timescale. In addition, we show that the group index enhances the spectral sensitivity of the polarization rotation, giving large rotations of up to 15 rad for continuous-wave light. Finally, we demonstrate dynamic broadband pulse switching by rotating a linearly polarized nanosecond pulse by /2 rad with negligible distortion and transmission close to unity.

Item Type:Article
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (428Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.27
Record Created:13 Jun 2012 09:50
Last Modified:13 Jun 2012 14:56

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