Dynamics of light propagation in spatiotemporal dielectric structures

Fabio Biancalana, Andreas Amann, Alexander V Uskov, Eoin P O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


Propagation, transmission and reflection properties of linearly polarized plane waves and arbitrarily short electromagnetic pulses in one-dimensional dispersionless dielectric media possessing an arbitrary space-time dependence of the refractive index are studied by using a two-component, highly symmetric version of Maxwell's equations. The use of any slow varying amplitude approximation is avoided. Transfer matrices of sharp nonstationary interfaces are calculated explicitly, together with the amplitudes of all secondary waves produced in the scattering. Time-varying multilayer structures and spatiotemporal lenses in various configurations are investigated analytically and numerically in a unified approach. Several effects are reported, such as pulse compression, broadening and spectral manipulation of pulses by a spatiotemporal lens, and the closure of the forbidden frequency gaps with the subsequent opening of wave number band gaps in a generalized Bragg reflector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046607
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


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