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Proceedings Paper

It's a (meta)material world! The final frontier?
Author(s): A. D. Boardman; R. C. Mitchell-Thomas; Y. G. Rapoport; N. J. King
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Paper Abstract

There is now a global interest in the creation of creation of electromagnetic metamaterials. The substantive early work is focused upon the GHz frequency range but almost immediately the desire to progress rapidly to the optical frequency range gathered momentum. This is a natural desire because many applications operate at optical frequencies but the THz range is also important for a range of medical applications as well. The concepts that underpin the need for metamaterials, and their special properties, are explained in this article and why the creation of exotic, artificial, molecules is required to produce material behaviour beyond any performance that could naturally be expected. It will be shown that the major key lies in adding magnetic properties to special dielectric behaviour. This leads to composites that have almost magical behaviour. This presentation will explore the current global experimental progress towards three-dimensional metamaterials and will explain, in a straightforward manner, the concept of negative refraction that is attracting such a lot of attention. The initial ideas, and even some of the early misconceptions, will be addressed and clearly illustrated in a manner that enhances any understanding of the conceptual structure will be expressed. It will be shown that even though negative refraction can be associated with both backward and forward waves, the novel metamaterial concept is to associate backward wave phenomena with isotropic media, artificially endowed with negative permittivity and permeability. The principle application shown here is to a nonlinear ring interferometer that is capable of sustaining arbitrarily thin solitons or "optical needles" that can also be managed by an external magnetic field.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 August 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7063, Interferometry XIV: Techniques and Analysis, 706302 (11 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.798167
Show Author Affiliations
A. D. Boardman, Univ. of Salford (United Kingdom)
R. C. Mitchell-Thomas, Univ. of Salford (United Kingdom)
Y. G. Rapoport, Univ. of Salford (United Kingdom)
N. J. King, Univ. of Salford (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7063:
Interferometry XIV: Techniques and Analysis
Joanna Schmit; Katherine Creath; Catherine E. Towers, Editor(s)

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