Formation of optical solitons in self-induced transparency (SIT) regime, where light pulses propagate virtually without loss in nominally strongly absorbing medium, is one of the most striking coherent transient phenomena in optics. Here we study experimentally and by numeric simulations how a square shape pulse gradually transforms into a smooth sech shape pulse of well-defined pulse area, depending on the parameters such as the pulse amplitude, duration, propagation distance etc. The SIT experiments for circularly polarized light are performed in the R1−3∕2) line of a 30 ppm ruby (α-Al2O3:Cr3+) at 1.7 K in a magnetic field of BIIc = 4.5 T, which corresponds to effective absorption coefficient, αL =14.5. In such a magnetic field and temperature range, a 30 ppm ruby is in the so-called superhyperfine limit resulting in a very long decoherence (phase memory) time, TM = 50 μs. We show, in good quantitative agreement with the simulations, how SIT soliton is formatted and how this results in extremely slow pulse peak propagation velocity of ∼300 m∕s, which is to date, the slowest pulse propagation ever observed in a SIT experiment. We also show that for accurate quantitative description of the observed SIT and soliton pulse shapes, the simulations need to account for variation of the incident pulse amplitude across the beam spatial profile. Potential implications of the SIT effect on classical- and quantum information storage will be discussed.
Aleksander K. Rebane, Hans Riesen, Steffen Ganschow, Alex Szabo, Wayne Hutchison, and Rajitha Rajan, "Self-induced transparency and soliton formation in ruby: simulations and experiment (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10547, Advances in Photonics of Quantum Computing, Memory, and Communication XI, 105470V (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287550.5751542596001.
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