Quantum limitations on superluminal propagation

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Unstable systems such as media with inverted atomic population have been shown to allow the propagation of analytic wave packets with group velocity faster than that of light, without violating causality. We illuminate the important role played by unstable modes in this propagation and show that the quantum fluctuations of these modes and their unitary time evolution impose severe restrictions on the observation of superluminal phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2190-2193
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 14 Sep 1998


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