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Metamaterials that travel faster than light

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Amaury Triaud.

“Nothing can travel faster than light” is not a correct statement. Many things can and do. Think of a wave breaking at an angle on the sea shore. The point of impact travels along the beach very fast if the angle is a shallow one and can travel infinitely quickly as the angle tends to zero. I shall speak about metamaterials in which the structure moves with a velocity close to of faster than light giving rise to phenomena not seen in static structures. The structures naturally break time reversal invariance giving rise to effects for photons that resemble electrons in a magnetic field. In another realisation the metamaterial grabs hold of the field lines of incident radiation and squeezes then into a tightly formed pulse forming a supercontinuum of intense radiation.

This talk is part of the Physics and Astronomy Colloquia series.

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