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Asymptotic description of wave propagation in an active Lorentzian medium.

Authors
  • Safian, Reza
  • Mojahedi, Mohammad
  • Sarris, Costas D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review E
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
May 2007
Volume
75
Issue
6 Pt 2
Pages
66611–66611
Identifiers
PMID: 17677380
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In a causally dispersive medium the signal arrival appears in the dynamical field evolution as an increase in the field amplitude from that of the precursor fields to that of the steady-state signal. The interrelated effects of phase dispersion and frequency dependent attenuation and/or amplification alter the pulse in such a fundamental way that results in the appearance of precursor fields. Although superluminal group velocities have been found in various dispersive media, the pulse "front" and associated precursors will never travel faster than c , and hence these are the vehicles through which relativistic causality is preserved. While many rigorous studies of wave propagation and associated abnormal group velocities in passive Lorentzian media have been performed, the corresponding problem in active media has remained theoretically unexplored. This problem is addressed in the present paper, by employing the steepest descent method for the determination of the response of an active Lorentzian medium to a step modulated pulse. The steepest descent method provides a detailed description of the propagation of the pulse inside the dispersive medium in the time domain. Moreover, the evolution of the saddle points illuminates the relation between the medium parameters and the temporal evolution of the propagating pulse within the medium. Hence, useful physical insights are obtained and the interesting differences between the passive and active case are deduced.

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