From Positive- to Negative-Index Materials: Transitional Phenomena Ildar Gabitov, University of Arizona, Tucson. We study electrodynamics of newly-fabricated metamaterials with a negative index of refraction. One of the most remarkable phenomena that take place at a positive-negative index material interface is that the right-handed triplet of vectors consisting of the electric and magnetic fields and the wave vector (E,H, k ) undergoes a discontinuous change. From a topological viewpoint, a left-handed triplet cannot be transformed into a right-handed triplet by a continuous transformation. However, $\epsilon$ and $\mu$ can be changed from positive to negative values as continuous functions of the coordinate in the direction normal to the interface. The fact that continuously changing material characteristics can lead to a topologically critical phenomenon must be reflected in the transitional characteristics of the electromagnetic waves traversing the interface. We developed a mathematical model and investigated electromagnetic field propagation through a transition layer between positive-index and negative-index materials with linearly changing dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability. We show that components of electromagnetic waves may exhibit singular behavior in the vicinity of the point where both dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability vanish. Also, the phase velocity is found to be discontinuous and tends to infinity near the same point even at normal incidence.

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