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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Oct 2;85(14):2933-6.

Negative refractive index in left-handed materials.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0319, USA.


The real part of the refractive index n(omega) of a nearly transparent and passive medium is usually taken to have only positive values. Through an analysis of a current source radiating into a 1D "left-handed" material (LHM)-where the permittivity and permeability are simultaneously less than zero-we determine the analytic structure of n(omega), demonstrating frequency regions where the sign of Re[n(omega)] must, in fact, be negative. The regime of negative index, made relevant by a recent demonstration of an effective LHM, leads to unusual electromagnetic wave propagation and merits further exploration.

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