A fairy tale of stopped light
E.B. Aleksandrov a
V.S. Zapasskii b
a Ioffe Institute, ul. Polytekhnicheskaya 26, St. Petersburg, 194021, Russian Federation
b Department of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, 198904, Russian Federation
It is shown that the sensational interpretation of the experiments described in the paper ’Storage of light in atomic vapor’ by Phillips D F et al. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2001, v. 76, p. 783 is erroneous. The observations made in this work are easily explained in the framework of standard concepts of the light-induced anisotropy of an ensemble of atoms amenable to optical orientation and alignment. The response of the atomic medium detected by Phillips et al. has nothing to do with the authors’
claims about ’storage of light’, ’dynamic reduction of the group velocity of light’, or ’compression of the light pulse’. This paper is an extended version of our critical comment rejected by Physical Review Letters.