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Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Mar 7;112(9):093903. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Direct observation of a pulse peak using a peak-removed Gaussian optical pulse in a superluminal medium.

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Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan.


A series of experiments is performed to examine the arrival of a pulse peak, using a Gaussian-shaped temporal wave packet as the input pulse and truncating it at various positions on or before the peak of the packet. When the truncating point is within the negative group delay limit of the fast light medium, a smooth Gaussian peak is observed at the exit port, despite the absence of an input pulse peak. The experimental results explicitly demonstrate that the superluminal propagation of a smooth Gaussian-shaped pulse peak is an analytic continuation over time of the earlier portion of the input pulse envelope. To investigate the physical meaning of the pulse peak further, we also examine the propagation of triangular-shaped pulses, for which the pulse peak can be recognized as a nonanalytical point.

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