Abstract

We investigate experimentally the lifetime of the photons in a cavity containing a medium exhibiting strong positive dispersion. This intracavity positive dispersion is provided by a metastable helium gas at room temperature in the electromagnetically induced transparency regime, in which light propagates at a group velocity of the order of 104m·s1. The results definitely prove that the lifetime of the cavity photons is governed by the group velocity of light in the cavity and not its phase velocity.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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