Phew. It's finally finished.
I gave this talk for my advisor about "slow light". Because the experiment we recently finished involved slowing light down, and he wanted me to learn about how that worked, and then prove to him I understood it. (Of course, light slows down when it travels through any medium, including air, water, glass, etc. It's why lenses work. But we slowed it down a lot more.) When and if that data ever gets published, I'll add a couple of slides to my talk showing that this theory actually describes reality. I'd also like to clean up my references, and make sure the solution I got for the differential equation I used actually matches the one I found on-line. (But I know it will.)
And, for the benefit of those who haven't studied differential equations, I'd like to write a layman's-terms version which introduces the ideas of absorption and energy levels and electromagnetic waves, and answer everyone's favorite question, "What's it good for?"
But I'm going to put off doing those things for a while, 'cause I'm tired of working on it, to tell you the truth. Anyway I think what I've got, as it stands, could be useful to some people... Undergrads maybe, or people like me, starting out in optics research. So I'm going to make it available on the internet, and anyone who isn't interested in physics, but is curious about what I do at work all day (hi, Mom) can take a look too.
Ken worked with me on every step of this, coming up with answers to my questions, asking me questions that forced me to clarify my ideas, teaching me what he knew and learning with me. So really this is a joint effort (though any errors, of course, are my own). Every scientist should be so lucky.
Here it is, as a PDF:
An Introduction to Slow Light
(n.b. They took away our webpages! I'll upload this somewhere else, when I get around to it.)