As one of the most influential experiments on the development of modern macroscopic theory from Newtonian mechanics to Einstein's special theory of relativity, the phenomenon of light dragging in a moving medium has been discussed and observed extensively in different types of systems. To have a significant dragging effect, the long duration of light travelling in the medium is preferred. Here we demonstrate a light-dragging experiment in an electromagnetically induced transparent cold atomic ensemble and enhance the dragging effect by at least three orders of magnitude compared with the previous experiments. With a large enhancement of the dragging effect, we realize an atom-based velocimeter that has a sensitivity two orders of magnitude higher than the velocity width of the atomic medium used. Such a demonstration could pave the way for motional sensing using the collective state of atoms in a room temperature vapour cell or solid state material.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)