Slow light in ruby: a study in spatial and temporal domains

Wisniewski-Barker, Emma (2015) Slow light in ruby: a study in spatial and temporal domains. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Slow light is the study of the dramatic change in the velocity of light as it travels through certain media. This thesis focuses on slowing caused by transmitting light through a ruby crystal. When ruby experiences spatial or temporal modulation from a laser beam, the velocity of the light is greatly changed from its speed in a vacuum. The underlying mechanism for slow light in ruby is not fully understood and is, therefore, the subject of much debate.
In this thesis, I examine many experimental parameters and their effects on slow light in ruby. First, I investigate the delay of images with both bright and dark regions through a spatial modulation of the ruby. I then turn to a temporal modulation of the ruby to answer the question of whether light can be delayed beyond the input pulse, the answer to which has the potential to differentiate between two proposed models for the mechanism that causes slow light in ruby.
I return to the spatial domain to study the effect of spatial intensity distribution on the slow-light effect in ruby. I show that beams carrying orbital angular momentum rotate by an amount determined by the spatial feature of the beam profile. I present experimental evidence supporting a complicated mechanism of slow light in ruby, which informs the ongoing debate on the cause of slow light in ruby and provides direction for applications dependent upon the preservation of complex patterns in slow-light media.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Optics, slow light, ruby, spatial, temporal, coherent population oscillations, orbital angular momentum
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Supervisor's Name: Padgett, Professor Miles J.
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Ms Emma Wisniewski-Barker
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6591
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2015 12:35

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