Classification of dispersion equations for homogeneous, dielectric-magnetic, uniaxial materials

Ricardo A. Depine, Marina E. Inchaussandague, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The geometric representation at a fixed frequency of the wave vector (or dispersion) surface ω(k) for lossless, homogeneous, dielectric-magnetic uniaxial materials is explored for the case when the elements of the relative permittivity and permeability tensors of the material can have any sign. Electromagnetic plane waves propagating inside the material can exhibit dispersion surfaces in the form of ellipsoids of revolution, hyperboloids of one sheet, or hyperboloids of two sheets. Furthermore, depending on the relative orientation of the optic axis, the intersections of these surfaces with fixed planes of propagation can be circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, or straight lines. The understanding obtained is used to study the reflection and refraction of electromagnetic plane waves due to a planar interface with an isotropic medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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