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Science. 2009 Oct 23;326(5952):550-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1177096. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Probing the magnetic field of light at optical frequencies.

Author information

1
Center for Nanophotonics, Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM) Institute-FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Science Park 104, 1098 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands. burresi@amolf.nl

Abstract

Light is an electromagnetic wave composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, the one never occurring without the other. In light-matter interactions at optical frequencies, the magnetic component of light generally plays a negligible role. When we "see" or detect light, only its electric field is perceived; we are practically blind to its magnetic component. We used concepts from the field of metamaterials to probe the magnetic field of light with an engineered near-field aperture probe. We visualized with subwavelength resolution the magnetic- and electric-field distribution of propagating light.

PMID:
19797622
DOI:
10.1126/science.1177096
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