Storage of light in atomic vapor

Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Jan 29;86(5):783-6. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.86.783.


We report an experiment in which a light pulse is effectively decelerated and trapped in a vapor of Rb atoms, stored for a controlled period of time, and then released on demand. We accomplish this "storage of light" by dynamically reducing the group velocity of the light pulse to zero, so that the coherent excitation of the light is reversibly mapped into a Zeeman (spin) coherence of the Rb vapor.