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Anomalous Refraction of Light Colors by a Metamaterial Prism

Silveirinha, M. G.

Physical Review Letters Vol. 102, Nº 193903, pp. 1 - 4, May, 2009.

ISSN (print): 1079-7114
ISSN (online): 0031-9007

Scimago Journal Ranking: 6,33 (in 2009)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.193903

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A prism of glass separates white light into its spectral components in such a manner that colors associated with shorter wavelengths are more refracted than the colors associated with longer wavelengths. Here, we demonstrate that this property is not universal, and that a lossless metamaterial prism with a suitable microstructure may enable a broadband regime of anomalous dispersion, where the spectral components of light are separated in an unconventional way, so that ‘‘violet light’’ is less refracted than ‘‘red light.’’ This phenomenon is fundamentally different from conventional anomalous dispersion effects, which are invariably accompanied by significant loss and are typically very narrow band.