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slow light, ruby, coherent population oscillations, energy delay

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When a pulsed light beam propagates through ruby, it is delayed by a slow-light mechanism. This mechanism has been the subject of debate (Wisniewski-Barker et al 2013 New J. Phys. 15 083020; Kozlov et al 2014 New J. Phys. 16 038001; Wisniewski-Barker et al 2014 New J. Phys. 16 038002). To distinguish between the two main proposed mechanisms, we investigate the trailing edge of a square-wave pulsed laser beam propagating through ruby. Our observation of a pronounced tail on the trailing edge of the transmitted pulse cannot be explained solely by the effects of a time-varying absorber acting upon the incident pulse. Therefore, our observation of the creation of a tail at the trailing edge of the pulse provides evidence for a complicated model of slow light in ruby that requires more than pulse reshaping. The different delays of individual Fourier components of the pulse signal explain the pulse distortion that occurs upon transmission through the ruby and must be accounted for by any model that attempts to describe the effects of slow light in ruby.

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New Journal of Physics, v. 16, art. 123054