On two models of light pulse delay in saturable absorber
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A comparative analysis of two approaches to the description of the light modulation pulse in a saturable absorber is presented. According to the simplest model, the delay of the optical pulse is a result of the distortion of its shape due to the self-modulation of absorption in the nonlinear medium. The second model of the effect, arisen at the beginning of our century, relates the pulse delay to the so-called “slow light,” attributing this delay to the group velocity reduction under the condition of coherent oscillations of the population. It is shown that the data of all known experiments on the light pulse delay in saturable absorbers can be comprehensively described in terms of the simplest model of saturable absorber and do not require invoking the effect of population coherent oscillations with spectral hole-burning and anomalous modifications of the light group velocity. It is concluded that the effect of the group velocity reduction under the condition of population coherent oscillations has not received so far any experimental confirmation, and the assertions about real observation of the slow light based on this mechanism are unfounded.
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