MIDIT OFD CATS Modelling, Nonlinear Dynamics Optics and Fluid Dynamics Chaos and Turbulence Studies and Irreversible Thermodynamics Risø National Laboratory Niels Bohr Institute and Technical University of Denmark Building 128 Department of Chemistry Building 321 P.O. Box 49 University of Copenhagen DK-2800 Lyngby DK-4000 Roskilde DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø Denmark Denmark Denmark
by M. Saffman
Thursday April 15, 1999, 10:00 h
at Meeting Room, Physics Department, Bld. 108.
Risø National Laboratory, Roskilde
Abstract: In the 18th february issue of Nature a group at Harvard
demonstrated light speeds of only 17 metres/second
in an ultracold atomic gas. The physical principles behind the
Harvard experiments date back to theoretical work from the late
80's on "electromagnetically induced transparency", "lasing without
inversion" and other remarkable effects that fall under the heading
of "quantum interference" in multilevel atoms.
I will give a pedagogical introduction to the topic, using as simple a theoretical description as possible, and then review earlier experimental results, as well as the recent work at Harvard. Prospects for routinely creating giant optical nonlinearities will be mentioned.