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Wave Instabilities and Unidirectional Light Flow in a Cavity with Rotating Walls

Lannebère, S. ; Silveirinha, M. G.

Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Vol. 94, Nº 033810, pp. 1 - 11, September, 2016.

ISSN (print): 1050-2947
ISSN (online): 1094-1622

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,48 (in 2016)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevA.94.033810

We investigate the conditions for the emergence of wave instabilities in a vacuum cavity delimited by cylindrical metallic walls under rotation. It is shown that for a small vacuum gap and for an angular velocity exceeding a certain threshold, the interactions between the surface plasmon polaritons supported by each wall give rise to unstable behavior of the electromagnetic field manifested in exponential growth with time. The instabilities occur only for certain modes of oscillation and are due to the transformation of kinetic energy into electromagnetic energy. We also study the possibility of having asymmetric light flows and optical isolation relying on the relative motion of the cavity walls.