Color of Shock Waves in Photonic Crystals

  • Reed E
  • Soljačić M
  • Joannopoulos J
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Unexpected and stunning new physical phenomena result when light interacts with a shock wave or shocklike dielectric modulation propagating through a photonic crystal. These new phenomena include the capture of light at the shock wave front and reemission at a tunable pulse rate and carrier frequency across the band gap, and bandwidth narrowing as opposed to the ubiquitous bandwidth broadening. To our knowledge, these effects do not occur in any other physical system and are all realizable under experimentally accessible conditions. Furthermore, their generality make them amenable to observation in a variety of time-dependent photonic crystal systems, which has significant technological implications.

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  • Evan J. Reed

  • Marin Soljačić

  • John D. Joannopoulos

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