Negative phase velocity in a uniformly moving, homogeneous, isotropic, dielectric-magnetic medium

Tom G. Mackay, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Homogeneous, isotropic mediums characterized by relative permittivity scalars ∈ = ∈R + i∈I (∈R, ∈ I ∈ R) and relative permeability scalars μ= μR + iμIR, μI μR μRR) are well known to support the propagation of plane waves with negative phase velocity (NPV), provided that both μR < 0 and μR < 0, We demonstrate that mediums which do not support NPV propagation when viewed at rest (e.g., mediums with μR > 0 and μR > 0), can support NPV propagation when they are viewed in a reference frame which is uniformly translated at a sufficiently high velocity. Representative numerical examples are used to explore the constitutive parameter regimes which support NPV propagation under the uniform-velocity condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5697-5711
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and General
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 28 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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