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Atomic recoil effects in slow light propagation

Abstract

We theoretically investigate the effect of atomic recoil on the propagation of ultraslow light pulses through a coherently driven Bose-Einstein condensed gas. For a sample at rest, the group velocity of the light pulse is the sum of the group velocity that one would observe in the absence of mechanical effects (infinite mass limit) and the velocity of the recoiling atoms (light-dragging effect). We predict that atomic recoil may give rise to a lower bound for the observable group velocities, as well as to pulse propagation at negative group velocities without appreciable absorption

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