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Nat Commun. 2010;1:141. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1142.

All-linear time reversal by a dynamic artificial crystal.

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Fachbereich Physik and Forschungszentrum OPTIMAS, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern 67663, Germany.


The time reversal of pulsed signals or propagating wave packets has long been recognized to have profound scientific and technological significance. Until now, all experimentally verified time-reversal mechanisms have been reliant upon nonlinear phenomena such as four-wave mixing. In this paper, we report the experimental realization of all-linear time reversal. The time-reversal mechanism we propose is based on the dynamic control of an artificial crystal structure, and is demonstrated in a spin-wave system using a dynamic magnonic crystal. The crystal is switched from an homogeneous state to one in which its properties vary with spatial period a, while a propagating wave packet is inside. As a result, a linear coupling between wave components with wave vectors k≈π/a and k'=k-2π/a≈-π/a is produced, which leads to spectral inversion, and thus to the formation of a time-reversed wave packet. The reversal mechanism is entirely general and so applicable to artificial crystal systems of any physical nature.

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