It is shown that the matrix describing a general (transparent or absorbing) multilayer is an element of the group SL(2, C), which is locally isomorphic to the (3+1)-dimensional restricted Lorentz group SO(3, 1). In consequence, a natural identification of the multilayer reflection and transmission coefficients with the parameters of a Lorentz transformation is performed. The correspondence between electric field and space–time variables is discussed as well.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(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
J. J. Monzón and L. L. Sánchez-Soto, "Fully relativisticlike formulation of multilayer optics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2013-2018 (1999)