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Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Henry van Driel
  • Vol. 28, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2011
  • pp: 765–774

Kinematic negative birefringence in fast-moving dielectrics

S. Fumeron, P. Vaveliuk, E. Faudot, and F. Moraes  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 28, Issue 4, pp. 765-774 (2011)

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The propagation of light in a dielectric moving at relativistic velocities is investigated. The analysis shows that, in that case, the medium may support two original propagative modes, analogously to birefringence in crystal optics. The conditions at which the kinematic birefringence occurs and its main features are exhibited and compared with the usual birefringence. In particular, it is shown that this peculiar effect is of second order in relative velocity β = v / c , and the kinematic ordinary refractive index exhibits angular dependence contrary to what happens for the usual ordinary index. Moreover, the existence of negative values for the ordinary and extraordinary indices is manifested in the ultrarelativistic regime.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.1180) Physical optics : Crystal optics
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(350.5720) Other areas of optics : Relativity

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: July 6, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 15, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: November 11, 2010
Published: March 21, 2011

S. Fumeron, P. Vaveliuk, E. Faudot, and F. Moraes, "Kinematic negative birefringence in fast-moving dielectrics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 28, 765-774 (2011)

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