We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

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.


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:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 June 2012
Date of first online publication:April 2009
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar