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Capturing light on the nanoscale

Speaker: Prof. John B. Pendry (Imperial College London)
Date: Wednesday 20 March 2019
Time: 14:00
Venue: Queens Buildings N/3.28

Convention has it that light cannot resolve objects much smaller than the wavelength, a 'rule' that was shown to be invalid some years ago [1]. Here we look inside the wavelength and study the properties of plasmonic structures with dimensions of just a few nanometres: a tenth or even a hundredth of the wavelength of visible light, where the ray picture of light fails utterly. We show how the new concept of transformation optics that manipulates electric and magnetic field lines rather than rays can provide an equally intuitive understanding of sub wavelength phenomena and at the same time be an exact description at the level of Maxwell’s equations. The new technology brings light into contact with the nanoworld.

[1] Negative Refraction Makes a Perfect Lens, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3966-9 (2000).