The Searchlight Effect in Hyperbolic Media

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 2:50pm - 3:30pm
Keller 3-180
Graeme Milton (The University of Utah)
The study of hyperbolic media, where the dielectric tensor has eigenvalues of mixed signs, has attracted considerable attention as a way of achieving subwavelength resolution. The quasistatic field around a circular hole in a two-dimensional hyperbolic medium is studied. As the loss parameter goes to zero, it is found that the electric field diverges along four lines each tangent to the hole. In this limit, the power dissipated by the field in the vicinity of these lines, per unit length of the line, goes to zero but extends further and further out so that the net power dissipated remains finite. Additionally the interaction between polarizable dipoles in a hyperbolic medium is studied. It is shown that a dipole with small polarizability can dramatically influence the dipole moment of a distant polarizable dipole, if it is appropriately placed. We call this the searchlight effect, as the enhancement depends on the orientation of the line joining the polarizable dipoles and can be varied by changing the frequency. For some particular polarizabilities the enhancement can actually increase the further the polarizable dipoles are apart, a bit like the interaction between quarks.