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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 16, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1999
  • pp: 2786–2792

Origin of the Thomas rotation that arises in lossless multilayers

J. J. Monzón and L. L. Sánchez-Soto  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 16, Issue 11, pp. 2786-2792 (1999)

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From the basic fact that the matrix that describes a lossless multilayer belongs to the group SU(1, 1), which is locally isomorphic to the (2+1)-dimensional Lorentz group SO(2, 1), we present a natural identification of the parameters of the multilayer with those of a Lorentz transformation. We show that the phase that appears when one is studying the reflection and transmission of light on a compound multilayer is simply the relativistic Thomas rotation. We propose a simple optical experiment to determine the angle of this rotation.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.3860) General : Mathematical methods in physics
(120.5700) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Reflection
(120.7000) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Transmission
(230.4170) Optical devices : Multilayers

Original Manuscript: April 1, 1999
Revised Manuscript: June 14, 1999
Manuscript Accepted: June 14, 1999
Published: November 1, 1999

J. J. Monzón and L. L. Sánchez-Soto, "Origin of the Thomas rotation that arises in lossless multilayers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2786-2792 (1999)

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