Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime

Tom H. Anderson, Tom G. MacKay, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Metamaterials offer opportunities to explore curved-spacetime scenarios which would otherwise be impractical or impossible to study. These opportunities arise from the formal analogy that exists between light propagation in vacuous curved spacetime and in a certain nonhomogeneous bianisotropic medium, called a Tamm medium. As the science and technology of nanostructured metamaterials continues its rapid development, the practical realization of Tamm mediums is edging ever closer. We considered two particular curved spacetimes associated with: (a) spinning cosmic strings, and (b) the Alcubierre drive. For both examples, a Tamm medium formulation was developed which is asymptotically identical to vacuum and is therefore amenable to physical realization. A study of ray trajectories for both Tamm mediums was undertaken, within the geometric optics regime. For the spinning cosmic string, it was observed that: (i) rays do not cross the string's boundary; (ii) evanescent waves are supported in regions of phase space that correspond to those regions of the string's spacetime wherein closed timelike curves may arise; and (iii) a non-spinning string is nearly invisible whereas a spinning string may be rather more visible. For the Alcubierre drive, it was observed that: (i) ray trajectories are highly sensitive to the magnitude and direction of the warp bubble's velocity, but less sensitive to the thickness of the transition zone between the warp bubble and its background; and (ii) the warp bubble acts as a focusing lens for rays which travel in the same direction as the bubble, especially at high speeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMetamaterials
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and Applications IV
Volume8093
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2011
EventMetamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2011Aug 25 2011

Other

OtherMetamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period8/21/118/25/11

Fingerprint

Metamaterials
Bubble
Half line
strings
Strings
Space-time
Trajectories
Cosmic Strings
Light propagation
rays
bubbles
metal spinning
Lenses
Optics
Vacuum
Trajectory
Geometric Optics
Evanescent Wave
Closed curve
trajectories

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Anderson, T. H., MacKay, T. G., & Lakhtakia, A. (2011). Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime. In Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV (Vol. 8093). [80931N] https://doi.org/10.1117/12.892522
Anderson, Tom H. ; MacKay, Tom G. ; Lakhtakia, Akhlesh. / Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime. Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV. Vol. 8093 2011.
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Anderson, TH, MacKay, TG & Lakhtakia, A 2011, Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime. in Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV. vol. 8093, 80931N, Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV, San Diego, CA, United States, 8/21/11. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.892522

Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime. / Anderson, Tom H.; MacKay, Tom G.; Lakhtakia, Akhlesh.

Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV. Vol. 8093 2011. 80931N.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Anderson TH, MacKay TG, Lakhtakia A. Geometric-optical studies for metamaterial representations of curved spacetime. In Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications IV. Vol. 8093. 2011. 80931N https://doi.org/10.1117/12.892522