Contemporary Physics

Volume 45, Page 191


Negative Refraction

JB Pendry


Light bends the wrong way in materials where both  and  are negative as was pointed out in 1968, but the absence of natural materials with this property led to neglect of the subject until 1999 when it was shown how to make artificial materials, metamaterials, with negative . The rapid advance of the subject since that date, both in theory and experiment, is reflected in the exponential growth of publications now at the 200 per year level and still growing. This interest is explained by the sudden availability of a qualitatively different class of electromagnetic materials combined with the quite startling properties which these materials appear to have; all of which provokes debate as each new facet of their behaviour is revealed. Experiment has been vital to resolution of controversy and has chiefly been in the microwave region of the spectrum though there is potential in the optical region currently being explored by several groups.



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