energy flow; optical pulses; dispersive media; Poynting vector
The arrival time of a light pulse at a point in space is defined using a time expectation integral over the Poynting vector. The delay between pulse arrival times at two distinct points is shown to consist of two parts: a spectral superposition of group delays (inverse of group velocity) and a delay due to spectral reshaping via absorption or amplification. The result provides a context wherein group velocity is always meaningful even for broad band pulses and when the group velocity is superluminal or negative. The result imposes luminality on sharply defined pulses.