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Proceedings Paper

Chirality and its applications to engineered materials
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Paper Abstract

Chiral, literally means handed and comes from the Greek work cheir for 'hand' since our hands are non-superimposable on their mirror images. As Lord Kelvin defined it in 1893: 'I call any geometrical figure, or any group of points, chiral, and say it has chirality, if its image in a plane mirror, ideally realized, cannot be brought to coincide with itself.' Characteristically, a substance with chirality must have neither a center nor a plane of symmetry for its molecular framework. Chirality is present in many organic substances, liquids, and crystals, but also in more common objects such as golf clubs, helices, human hands and feet, etc. Recently, chirality has aroused much interest due to its interesting effects on electromagnetic wave-material interaction resulting in drastically changed polarization, reflection, and absorption relative to a non-chiral material with the same (epsilon) and (mu) . There are two phenomena that can be observed and measured when an electromagnetic wave travels through a suspension of chiral inclusions. Optical rotatory dispersion (ORD), which is due to the different phase velocities for the left and right circularly polarized waves, rotates the plane of the polarization. Circular dichroism (CD), which is caused by the different absorption for the left and right circularly polarized waves, elliptically polarizes the transmitted fields.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 November 1991
PDF: 26 pages
Proc. SPIE 1558, Wave Propagation and Scattering in Varied Media II, (11 November 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.49624
Show Author Affiliations
Vasundara V. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Vijay K. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1558:
Wave Propagation and Scattering in Varied Media II
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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