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  • Thursday, April 5, 2018
  • 3:40 PM–4:30 PM
  • North Hall 276

Katelyn Plaisier Leisman, University of Illinois

The Maxwell-Bloch Equations are a set of equations that model how light travels through some media. As is, they have solutions which look like a single traveling pulse of light (called a soliton). However, the physics that these equations model is very basic (one atom), and doesn't take into account interactions that happen in most typical situations (many atoms). When we modify the equations slightly to make them more relevant to physical systems, the solutions change. We will look at what happens to the light pulse as we change the equations. When the change is minor, the light pulse from before seems to slow down and get smaller. When the change is significant, the original pulse stops and dies out. However, energy from that pulse forms what looks like a new pulse which actually accelerates! This new pulse actually agrees with experimental results of sending a laser beam through a ruby crystal.

Refreshments precede the talk at 3:30 p.m. in NH 282.

April 2018
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