Fast light, slow light, and left-handed light by P.W. Milonni

By P.W. Milonni

The propagation of sunshine in dispersive media is a topic of basic in addition to functional significance. lately consciousness has concentrated particularly on how refractive index can fluctuate with frequency in any such means that the gang velocities of optical pulses will be a lot higher or a lot smaller than the rate of sunshine in vacuum, or within which the refractive index might be unfavorable. Treating those issues at an introductory to intermediate point, quickly gentle, sluggish mild and Left-Handed mild specializes in the fundamental conception and describes the numerous experimental growth made prior to now decade. The publication will pay substantial consciousness to the truth that superluminal team velocities are usually not in clash with specified relativity and to the function of quantum results in fighting superluminal communique and violations of Einstein causality. It additionally explores many of the simple physics on the contrary severe of very gradual workforce velocities in addition to stopped and regenerated gentle, together with the thoughts of electromagnetically brought on transparency and dark-state polaritons. one other very energetic element of the topic mentioned issues the potential for designing metamaterials during which the refractive index could be unfavorable and propagating gentle is left-handed within the feel that the section and workforce velocities are in contrary instructions. The final chapters are an advent to a couple of the fundamental conception and outcomes of destructive refractive index, with emphasis at the seminal paintings performed because 2000. the chance that "perfect" lenses could be made up of negative-index metamaterials-which has been possibly themost arguable element of the field-is brought and mentioned in a few aspect.

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For this reason, a medium with negative refractive index is called left-handed or doubly negative (because and µ are both negative) or simply a metamaterial. I prefer to call the light left-handed, because calling the medium left-handed might be misconstrued as saying something about its chirality. In any event, there are no known naturally occurring doubly negative materials and it is only recently that such materials have been purposefully fabricated. 9 The remainder of this book The first six chapters of this book will be concerned with dispersive media that are ‘unusual’ in that the group velocity of light pulses can be greater than c, infinite, negative, much less than c, or zero.

89) between the group velocity vg and the phase velocity vp appears frequently in the theory of waveguides [22]. It is not a general result. 90) or ω2 − k 2 c2 = constant. 6 Maxwell’s equations and special relativity: an example It has been said that Maxwell was lucky: his equations for the electromagnetic field turned out to be Lorentz invariant, gauge invariant, and correct quantum mechanically when interpreted as Heisenberg operator equations of motion. It is primarily the first property of Maxwell’s equations that is of interest in this chapter.

As discussed later, the superluminal group velocity of the transmitted waveform does not violate Einstein causality because it does not represent a superluminal transmission of information. In particular, as noted by Nimtz et al, there is no superluminal transmission here of a sharp wave front. Whether an actual ‘signal’ is transmitted becomes partly a question of semantics but, according to the definition of a signal as a carrier of new information, there is no superluminal signal propagation in these experiments and, therefore, no violation of Einstein causality.

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