University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Metamaterials Research Group Seminars > The magic of complex numbers in optics: reflectionless media and one-way edge states

The magic of complex numbers in optics: reflectionless media and one-way edge states

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Miguel Navarro-Cia.

Waves can be very neatly described as complex functions of position. The complex number is a shorthand for how big the wave is (the amplitude) and where it is going (the phase). What we don’t usually discuss is whether there is any advantage in letting the position take a complex value (there aren’t any complex numbers on a ruler!).

However, there are well known cases when it is useful to make the position variables complex, with the techniques of conformal mapping being perhaps the most famous. In this talk I shall discuss the application of complex valued coordinates to the problem of wave propagation in metamaterials. I shall show how to develop methods for designing reflectionless and invisible materials, as well as a new way to understand and design materials where the wave can propagate in only one direction, being bound to the edge of the material.

This talk is part of the Metamaterials Research Group Seminars series.

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