Monday, April 16, 2012

Bending Light Without Dispersion

It is amazing that, even after all these years, Maxwell equations can still hold a lot of surprises.

A theoretical solution to Maxwell equations may produce the bending of light, even in vacuum, without any dispersion.

In a paper in Physical Review Letters, Ido Kaminer and colleagues at Technion, Israel, report on wave solutions to Maxwell’s equations that are both nondiffracting and capable of following a much tighter circular trajectory than was previously thought possible. Apart from fundamental scientific interest, such wave solutions may lead to the possibility of synthesizing shape-preserving optical beams that make curved left- or right-handed turns on their own. The equations describing these light waves could also be generalized to describe similar behavior in sound and water waves.
You can read the rest of the review article in the link, and even get a free copy of the actual paper.

I can't wait for someone to demonstrate this experimentally.


1 comment:

Adam said...

I almost missed Demetri Christodoulides' talk when he came to campus a month or so ago, and am glad I didn't. IIRC, his group actually did this experimentally, albeit without full 360 curves.