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Optics Letters

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  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 34, Iss. 3 — Feb. 1, 2009
  • pp: 374–376

Fermat's principle and the formal equivalence of local light-ray rotation and refraction at the interface between homogeneous media with a complex refractive index ratio

Bhuvanesh Sundar, Alasdair C. Hamilton, and Johannes Courtial  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 3, pp. 374-376 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.34.000374


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Abstract

We derive a formal description of local light-ray rotation in terms of complex refractive indices. We show that Fermat's principle holds, and we derive an extended Snell's law. The change in the angle of a light ray with respect to the normal of a refractive index interface is described by the modulus of the refractive index ratio; the rotation around the interface normal is described by the argument of the refractive index ratio.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(080.2720) Geometric optics : Mathematical methods (general)
(160.1245) Materials : Artificially engineered materials
(240.3990) Optics at surfaces : Micro-optical devices

History
Original Manuscript: September 25, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 25, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: December 15, 2008
Published: January 30, 2009

Citation
Bhuvanesh Sundar, Alasdair C. Hamilton, and Johannes Courtial, "Fermat's principle and the formal equivalence of local light-ray rotation and refraction at the interface between homogeneous media with a complex refractive index ratio," Opt. Lett. 34, 374-376 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-34-3-374


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References

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