OSA's Digital Library

Chinese Optics Letters

Chinese Optics Letters


  • Editor: Zhizhan Xu
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 1 — Jan. 20, 2003
  • pp: 47–49

What causes the superluminal propagation of light pulses

Shi-Yao Zhu and Li-Gang Wang  »View Author Affiliations

Chinese Optics Letters, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 47-49 (2003)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (474 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

  • Export Citation/Save Click for help


In this paper, we discuss what causes the superluminal propagation of a pulse through dispersion by solving Maxwell's equations without any approximation. The coherence of the pulse plays an important role for superluminal propagation. When the pulse becomes partially coherent, the propagation changes from superluminal to subluminal. The energy velocity is always less than the vacuum velocity. The shape of the pulse is changed during the propagation.

© 2005 Chinese Optics Letters

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(260.2030) Physical optics : Dispersion
(270.5530) Quantum optics : Pulse propagation and temporal solitons
(320.5540) Ultrafast optics : Pulse shaping

Shi-Yao Zhu and Li-Gang Wang, "What causes the superluminal propagation of light pulses," Chin. Opt. Lett. 1, 47-49 (2003)

Sort:  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. R. Y. Chiao and A. M. Steinberg, Tunneling Time and Superluminality, Progress in Optics XXXVII, 345, E. Wolf ed. (Elsevier, 1997), and references therein.
  2. L. J. Wang, A. Kuzmich, and A. Dogariu, Nature 406, 277 (2000).
  3. G. Nimtz, Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 7, 618 (1998).
  4. P. Sprangle, J. R. Penao, and B. Hafizi, Phys. Rev. E 64, 026504 (2001).
  5. C. G. Huang and Y. Z. Zhang, J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. Opt. 4, 1 (2002).
  6. F. J. Ribeiro and M. L. Cohen, Phys. Rev. E 64, 046602 (2001).
  7. J. Marangos, Nature 406, 243 (2000).
  8. A. Dogariu, A. Kuzmich, and L. J. Wang, Phys. Rev. A 63, 053806 (2001).
  9. L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics (Cambridge University Press, New York, 1995).
  10. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 7th (expanded) ed., (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999).
  11. L. Sereda, M. Bertolotti, and A. Ferrari, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 695 (1998), and references therein.
  12. P. Paakkonen, J. Turunen, P. Vahimaa, A. T. Friberg, and F. Wyrowski, Opt. Commun. 204, 53 (2002).

Cited By

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited