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## Thursday, 25 November 2010

### CLOAKED TIME

http://www.sendspace.com/file/cv3jq0

IOP PUBLISHING JOURNAL OF OPTICS

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 (9pp) doi:10.1088/2040-8978/13/2/024003

A spacetime cloak, or a history editor

MartinW McCall1, Alberto Favaro1, PaulKinsler1

and Allan Boardman2

1 Department of Physics, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ,

UK

2 Photonics and Nonlinear Science Group, Joule Laboratory, Department of Physics,

University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK

E-mail: m.mccall@imperial.ac.uk

Received 14 September 2010, accepted for publication 22 October 2010

Published 16 November 2010

Online at stacks.iop.org/JOpt/13/024003

Abstract

We introduce a new type of electromagnetic cloak, the spacetime cloak (STC), which conceals

events rather than objects. Non-emitting events occurring during a restricted period are never

suspected by a distant observer. The cloak works by locally manipulating the speed of light of

an initially uniform light distribution, whilst the light rays themselves always follow straight

paths. Any ‘perfect’ spacetime cloak would necessarily rely upon the technology of

electromagnetic metamaterials, which has already been shown to be capable of deforming light

in ways hitherto unforeseen—to produce, for example, an electromagnetic object cloak.

Nevertheless, we show how it is possible to use intensity-dependent refractive indices to

construct an approximate STC, an implementation that would enable the distinct signature of

successful event cloaking to be observed. Potential demonstrations include systems that

apparently violate quantum statistics, ‘interrupt-without-interrupt’ computation on convergent

data channels and the illusion of a Star Trek transporter.

Keywords: electromagnetic cloaking, metamaterials, electromagnetic modulation, spacetime,

observers and events

(Some figures in this article are in colour only in the electronic version)

1. Introduction

Would it not be amazing if, in an age of ubiquitous

surveillance, a method could be devised to somehow remove

a piece of history that would otherwise be recorded by

a surveying camera? A safe-cracker would be able, for

a brief time, to enter a scene, open the safe, remove its

contents, close the door and exit the scene, whilst the record

of a surveillance camera apparently showed that the safe

door was closed all the time. Although this sounds like

science fiction, the lesson from metamaterials research in

the last decade has taught us that, within certain restrictions,

such speculations are not fantasy. We here show how the

magic of editing history can be achieved by introducing the

concept of the spacetime cloak (STC). The proposal opens

up a new paradigm for electromagnetic cloaking and has

major implications for research in metamaterials, slow light

and phase modulation. Metamaterials already bend light in

unconventional ways, producing aberration-free lenses [1] or

spatial ‘object’ cloaks, which coax electromagnetic radiation

around a spatial void invisible to outside observers [2–4].

These latter developments are extensions of our historical and

pre-historical abilities—that light can bend whilst traversing

transparent materials has been known at least since humans

went fishing with spears; even the controlled bending of

light in prisms and lenses has been known for centuries.

In contrast, the STC utilizes time-dependent nanometreengineered

electromagnetic metamaterials to create a temporal

void within which events can be hidden. Remarkably, our

spacetime ‘event’ cloak leaves light rays undeviated from

their expected linear spatial trajectories, and instead works

by dividing illuminating light into a leading part, which is

speeded up and passes before a collection of events occur, and

a trailing part, which is slowed down and passes after they

have occurred. This process is thus utterly distinct from a

spatial ‘object’ cloak, which instead achieves concealment by

bending light around an object. The STC opens a temporary

corridor through which energy, information and matter can be

2040-8978/11/024003+09$33.00 © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd 1 Printed in the UK & the USA

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

Figure 1. (a) Conventional spatial cloak based on a planar transformation (x, y)→ (x

, y

). An observer located to the far right on the x axis

does not see the object. (b) Spacetime cloak. An analogous coordinate transformation is used, but now in (x, t ) rather than (x, y). The cloak

now conceals events near the spacetime origin. The (schematic) intensity distribution for various times is shown on the right, indicating the

formation and subsequent evaporation of the intensity null that is fully developed at t = 0. The observer to the right never suspects the

occurrence of any non-radiating events near the spacetime origin and sees a uniform intensity for all time.

manipulated or transported undetected. Once the concealed

passage has been used, the STC closes by slowing the leading

part of the light, whilst speeding up the trailing part, leaving no

trace of the cloak, or the concealed events, on the field profile.

To a distant observer, any non-emitting object whose presence

persisted throughout the lifetime of the STC will have had a

finite interval excised from its history. Any object which emits

light during STC operation will have that part of its history

temporally compressed so that, if not absorbed, it will appear to

the observer as if occurring in a single instant. We here outline

the theory and design of the spacetime cloak and describe

potential applications: hiding events from some observers but

not others, using the ‘time gap’ to generate apparent violations

of quantum statistics, allowing the covert interruption of noninterruptible

computation and/or signal processing operations,

and creating the illusion of a Star Trek transporter.

2. The spacetime cloak concept

Our method for redacting history is based on applying

the principles of transformation optics to produce an

electromagnetic cloak working in both space and time, rather

than in just space. Transformation optics relies on mimicking

a coordinate transformation applied to Maxwell’s vacuum

equations by means of an inhomogeneous dielectric/magnetic

medium. A coordinate transformation r → r , taking straight

lines to curves, transforms the electromagnetic field so that in

the new system

∇ × E = −∂B

∂t

, ∇ ·D = 0, (1)

∇ × H = ∂D

∂t

, ∇ · B = 0. (2)

Since the form of Maxwell’s equations is preserved, the

vacuum relations D = 0E,B = μ0H are replaced in

the new coordinate system by appropriate inhomogeneous,

anisotropic relations D =

(r

) · E , B = μ

(r

) ·

H . If instead of transforming coordinates, the original

coordinate space (r) is filled with a medium (r), μ(r),

having the same inhomogeneous, anisotropic (and, strictly

speaking, instantaneously responding) properties prescribed by

(r

),μ

(r

), then the linear light paths of vacuum become

curved, just as straight lines become curved under r → r .

Figure 1(a) shows how a spatial electromagnetic cloak [2] is

produced via a time-invariant planar transformation (x, y) →

(x

, y

) that diverts light rays so as to create a void near the

origin. The polar transformation r = (1 − a/b)r + a, θ

= θ,

z = z distorts linear rays travelling in vacuum from left to right

to those shown. Equivalently, rays in an anisotropic dielectric

with polar parameters ( ,μ)r = (1−a/r )( r,μr )0, ( ,μ)θ =

(1−a/r )

−1( θ,μθ )0, ( ,μ)z = (1−a/b)

−2(1−a/r )( z,μz)0

are curved in exactly the same way to produce a cloak around

a cylindrical object of radius a, centred at the origin [4].

2

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

ct'

x'

(a)

ct x

U

(b)

-4 -2 0 2 4

-4

-2

0

2

4

-2

0

2

-2

0

2

-4

4

0

2

4

Figure 2. (a) Construction of a sub-luminal spacetime cloak. As with figure 1(b) the map (x, t )→ (x t

) creates a void near the spacetime

origin. However, the base space is filled with a medium of refractive index n rather than vacuum, so that prior to the transformation light rays

are straight lines of gradient n. The transformation is a composition of a Lorentz boost, (x, t )→ ( . x, .t), with velocity v = c/n, followed by

applying a ‘curtain map’ .x = [( δ+|c.t |

δ+nσ )( . x − sgn( . x)σ ) + sgn( . x)σ ], .t = .t, followed by an inverse Lorentz transformation, ( . x

, .t

)→ (x

, t

).

(See the appendix for further details.) Shown is the coordinate transformation (x, t )→ (x

, t

) with σ = 1, n = 2, δ = 0.5 for the curtain

map. The deformed rays all have positive gradients (i.e. propagate forwards in time) and have speed c. The coordinate transformation

(x, t )→ (x

, t

) defines the spacetime transformation that yields equations (1) and (2) with t = t . Alternatively, a material with the required

(x, t ),μ(x, t ), β(x, t ), enables the spacetime cloak to be realized in an actual medium. (b) Electromagnetic energy density for various times

for the map of (a). The hard edges of the curtain map defined above have been softened by the use of mollifier functions (see the appendix),

thus avoiding unrealistic instantaneous switching. The intensity is null at events near the spacetime origin.

For our spacetime cloak we consider spacetime transformations

(x, t) → (x

, t

) and restrict to light propagating

forwards along the x axis. In figure 1(b), for example, a

spacetime transformation is carried out in the (x, t) plane that

is analogous to the spatial transformation carried out in the

(x, y) plane of figure 1(a). In contrast to the spatial cloak,

where the direction of propagation in the x–y plane is arbitrary,

the vacuum light rays must follow the straight lines x = ct +

const. These rays are then mapped under the transformation

to the curved rays shown so that the events within the disc

surrounding the origin are avoided by the new rays. The new

light trajectories are actualized when they propagate through

a suitable inhomogeneous time-dependent medium, and will

then curve around the event occurring at x = 0, t = 0. As

discussed in the appendix, the form of Maxwell’s equations

(equations (1) and (2), but now with the addition that t → t )

is again preserved provided the equivalent medium is magnetoelectric

with the transverse field components obeying

Dy

Dz

= (x, t)

Ey

Ez

+ β(x, t)

Hz

−Hy

(3)

3

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

By

Bz

= β(x, t)

−Ez

Ey

+ μ(x, t)

Hy

Hz

. (4)

The medium is thus in general required to be magneto-electric.

In contrast to the spatial cloak, where light curves in the (x, y)

plane, ‘curving’ light in the (x, t) plane now refers to different

parts of the light paths speeding up and slowing down. The

light proceeds only along the x axis and does not curve in

space. As a consequence, events in the neighbourhood of the

event at (x, t) = (0, 0) are never suspected by an observer

located sufficiently far to the right. In fact, all events in

the y–z plane that occur near (x, t) = (0, 0) are similarly

undetected. The concealment results from various parts of the

light distribution slowing down and speeding up so as to avoid

events near the spacetime origin. The intensity along the x

axis for different times is shown on the right of figure 1(b),

indicating the formation of the intensity null that is fully

developed at t = 0. For later times the null closes up, restoring

a uniform intensity distribution so that the observer at x = a

records a constant intensity for all time. Since the events near

(x = 0, t = 0) are never illuminated, the observer to the right

is unaware of their existence. In fact, all events in the (y, z)

plane that occur near (x = 0, t = 0) are concealed, so that

effectively a spacetime corridor is opened along which nonradiating

events, such as the movement of matter, exchange of

information, etc, can occur undetected.

The spacetime cloak of figure 1(b) is symmetric, in

that uniform illumination from the right will avoid the same

cloaked events for an observer located sufficiently far to the

left. As conceived by the symmetric transformation in the

x–t plane of figure 1(b), some rays in the medium will be

required to have a phase speed exceeding the vacuum speed

of light (e.g. ray A in the inset) and some rays very close

to the cloaked region (e.g. ray B) propagate backwards in

time. Superluminal ray trajectories, which occur in purely

spatial cloaks and in plasma propagation above the plasma

frequency, are characterized by the phase velocity exceeding

the vacuum speed of light, and are known to be compatible

with special relativity [5]. Waves travelling backwards in time

are precisely the interpretation of waves undergoing negative

phase velocity propagation, or negative refraction, where the

reversal of time in the wave’s phase φ = k · r−ωt is equivalent

to the reversal of the direction of the wavevector k with respect

to electromagnetic flux [6]. However, both superluminal and

negative phase waves, though accessible through appropriate

metamaterials design, can, through similar design ingenuity,

both be avoided in the spacetime cloak, as we discuss next.

3. Simplified designs

Referring to figure 2, the coordinate transformation is now

carried out against a background of a uniform medium of

refractive index n > 1, rather than vacuum. The complete

transformation consists of a Lorentz transformation into a

frame in which the rays are vertical, opening the void via

a ‘curtain map’, followed finally by an inverse Lorentz

transformation back into the medium rest frame (see the

appendix for further details). The construction is such that

stretched shifted compressed

sd 2d sd

t

x

cloaked

cloaked

Cloaked

Rays

Uncloaked Rays

Fast

Slow Slow

Fast

Figure 3. Spacetime cloak based on refractive index switching. (a)

The base space is a medium of refractive index n with an inner

region of width 2d surrounded by two outer regions of extent sd

identified. For −(1 + s)d x < 0 the transformation is given by x = (s + 2)(s + 1) −1x + d for t nx and by x = s(s + 1) −1x − d for t > nx. For 0 x < (s + 1)d the transformation is given by x = s(s + 1) −1x + d for t nx and by x = (s + 2)(s + 1) −1x − d for t > nx. All other regions are unaffected. All rays are sub-luminal

provided n(1 + 1)(s + 2)

−1 < 1. Unlike the cloak of figure 2(a), a single cloaking operation does not return the system to its original state. Alternating cloak operations as shown permits periodic restoration of the medium to its original state by interleaving a cloak operating in the reverse direction. all rays in figure 2(a) travel slower than the vacuum speed of light. The plots of figure 2(b) show a detailed calculation of the electromagnetic energy density in the equivalent medium defined by the transformation, where the hard edges of the map have been mollified so that the medium is not switched instantaneously. The energy null which develops as the cloak is switched on becomes zero at events near the spacetime origin. Unlike the cloak of figure 1(b), this spacetime cloak only works for light travelling in the +x direction. An observer to the left of the origin does see the cloaked events, though time separations between the cloaked events are first speeded up, then time-shifted, and then finally slowed down, before progression returns to normal. The magneto-electric parameter, β(x, t), in equations (3) and (4) arises almost invariably whenever the transformation 4 J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al O Occasional 'priorit y' bits A B C D . . . . . . Primary computation 0 5 10 15 20 0 1 2 3 4 5 time (ns) Fluoresence (a.u.) without cloak B A O A B (a) (b) (c) with cloak cloak region B Figure 4. Realization of the spacetime cloak as a set of addressable planes with metallic inclusions. Applications based on how the central region is filled as the intensity null passes over: (a) excited atoms. The exponential fluorescence decay is observed with the emissions during cloak operation all apparently occurring simultaneously, resulting in an intensity spike, followed by resumption of the exponential decay. (b) ‘Interrupt-without-interrupt’. An occasional signal (channel AB) and a primary computation (channel CD) converge at the same physical node. Suppose it is required to process the occasional signal, without interrupting the primary computation. The cloak operation opens a temporal window via which the occasional signal can be processed, whilst the primary computation is reconstituted after the cloak operation to appear as if uninterrupted. (c) A Star Trek transporter. Movement of non-radiating matter whilst the cloak is operating appears to the observer O to have moved from A to B instantaneously. (x, t) → (x , t ) mixes space and time. This occurs, for example, in a medium of refractive index n moving with velocity v wherein the constitutive relations revert to the Minkowski form [7], the magneto-electric parameter then being given by β(x, t) = v(x, t) c n2 − 1 1 − n2v2(x, t)/c2 . (5) The spacetime cloak therefore involves the construction of a metamaterial that mimics propagation in a medium with a velocity v(x, t). The occurrence of the null can then be understood via the velocity addition formula v (x, t) = [v(x, t)+c/n]/[1+v(x, t)/(cn)], where v (x, t) is the velocity of light in the moving medium. Near t = 0, the effective medium is arranged so that v(x, t) is negative for x < 0 and positive for x > 0. The trailing and leading parts of

the light are thus respectively slowed down and speeded up

to produce the required intermediate null. Non-reciprocal bianisotropic

metamaterials that mimic the constitutive relations

for a moving medium have been studied by Tretyakov [8], who

has shown that such media can in principle be constructed from

small magnetized ferrite spheres combined with planar-chiral

metallic inclusions [9].

A spacetime cloak with a transformation of the form t =

t, x = x

(x, t) is illustrated in figure 3 which only requires

manipulation of (x, t) and μ(x, t). The transformation

is devised such that the spatio–temporal variation of these

parameters matches, so that the impedance is uniform. The

refractive index, however, is switched from high to low before

the central region, and from low to high after the central

region. The price of this simplified design is that the index

5

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

Figure 5. Spacetime cloak based on exploiting the nonlinear refractive index properties of optical fibres. The cloak is opened in fibre A, is

held open in fibre B (which contains the core cloak region) and is closed again in fibre C. Two control fields IA and IC modulate the refractive

index in A (C) from low to high (high to low). The much weaker illumination field experiences the index changes required for the cloak

illustrated in figure 3. A signal field injected directly into fibre B is present before, during and after the cloaking from the illumination field.

By monitoring the signal as it is coupled out, the spacetime modulation on it from the illumination and the effect of nonlinear refractive index

can be measured. Changes to the signal field during the cloaking period leave no signature on the illumination field. Timing and

synchronization is only critical in ensuring that the top right apex of the cloaking diamond (figure 5) aligns with the bottom-left corner at an

angle given by the average phase speed of the signals. Fibre parameters: silica refractive index ∼1.5; control field intensity set to yield an

index change n = n2 I ∼ 5 × 10−4.

changes persist in the switched regions, so that, unlike the

previous designs, the medium surrounding the spatial origin

is not returned to its original state after the cloak has operated.

Periodic switching, as shown in figure 3, returns the medium to

its original state every other cycle and, moreover, permits bidirectionality

by alternating the forward cloak with an identical

one for light travelling in the −x direction. If the index

is switched without any impedance matching (as was done

for the first demonstrations of the spatial cloak [4]), then

reflections will occur at the interfaces. The observer to the

right would consequently notice abrupt changes of the overall

field intensity, but still remain ignorant of the events occurring

within the cloaked period.

4. Demonstrations

What effects might be observable using the spacetime cloak?

Figure 4 shows a collage of possibilities based around what

happens in the y–z plane in the region near x = 0 where/when

the cloak operates. Filling this region with excited atoms

(figure 4(a)) will cause the standard exponential fluorescence

decay to be modified by the cloak, as emissions within

the cloaked period will all appear to happen simultaneously

to the distant observer to the right. The observed spike

could be a useful experimental signature, since the required

cloaking period need only be comparable to the spontaneous

lifetime (∼ns), corresponding to a dimension of ∼30 cm

for the cloaked central region. Measurements of the

coherence and statistics of light signals emitted by such

a cloaked source will also yield anomalous results, even

those of a quantum origin such as photon bunching or antibunching.

Figure 4(b) proposes a specific application in

signal processing where two channels, proceeding along the

x and y directions respectively, cross at x = 0. Through

the operation of the spacetime cloak occasional signals

along the y channel can be processed as a priority, whilst

processing and computation proceeds seamlessly, without

interruption, along the x channel, achieving effectively an

‘interrupt-without-interrupt’. Finally, the spacetime cloak

can achieve the illusion of a matter transporter (figure 4(c)),

in which an object moves from (y1, z1) to (y2, z2) during

the cloak’s operation. The observer to the right sees the

object disappear at (y1, z1) to then instantaneously reappear

at (y2, z2).

6

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

It is emphasized that all the above demonstrations only

require light propagation in one dimension since producing a

temporary null in a collimated wave is all that is necessary to

conceal events near x = 0 in the y–z plane for a limited period.

However, it is clear that the spacetime cloak concept can be

extended to more spatial dimensions where the illuminating

light is not collimated. A spherical wave from a point source,

for example, illuminates a set of events lying on a sphere

at radius R from the origin. A spacetime cloak concealing

these events will do so for distant observers positioned at any

viewing angle.

5. Implementation

How practical is it to build a spacetime cloak? As with

the original proposals for a spatial cloak, we have neglected

dispersion, whose effect in this case will be to constrain the

rate at which the cloak can be opened and closed. Figure 5

shows a scheme to implement the design of figure 3 using

nonlinear optical fibres. The cloak is opened in fibre A, is

held open in fibre B (which contains the core cloak region) and

is closed again in fibre C. The primary operation is achieved

by means of two control fields whose intensity allows the

refractive index in A (C) to be modulated from low (high)

to high (low). This is achieved using the nonlinear refractive

index properties of the fibre (e.g. silica). The illumination field

is affected by the refractive index shifts (i.e. by the cloak), but

should have an intensity modulation far weaker than that used

by the control fields. The cloak opens up a spacetime gap in

the intensity profile of the illumination field. This gap could be

detected by monitoring leaky spot(s) on fibre B, and looking

for the intensity dip(s) in the illumination. Alternatively,

a signal field could be injected directly into fibre B, and

would therefore always be present, i.e. before, during and after

the cloaking from the illumination field. By monitoring the

signal as it is coupled out, the spacetime modulation on it

from the illumination and the effect of nonlinear refractive

index could be measured. For a brief period, the presence

of the signal field will be undetectable to the surveilling

illumination field and changes to the signal field during the

cloaking period would leave no signature on the illumination

field. The group velocity of the on/off transitions must be no

slower than the slow phase velocity and no faster than the fast

phase velocity. This ensures that the control/cloaking index

transitions always remain inside the cloak. Good dispersion

control would be required (probably using photonic crystal

fibres): If the various fields all have distinct frequencies or

polarizations then they can be coupled in and out efficiently

and distinctly. The fibre parameters illustrated in figure 5

are optimistic but accessible (though harmonic generation

and Raman and Brillouin scattering would also need to be

considered). Similarly, all coupling is assumed to be perfect,

although slight leakage of control field A into fibres B and C

should be tolerable.

6. Conclusion

We have introduced a fundamentally new concept of

electromagnetic cloaking that exploits the transformation

optics algorithm in one space and one time dimension. The

result is a cloak that operates in a fundamentally distinct way

to the purely spatial, or object, cloak, in that it conceals

events by curving light rays in spacetime rather than in space.

Although this sets new challenges for metamaterials design, we

have shown how these challenges can be minimized through

judicious manipulation of the refractive index of the metamedium.

We have proposed a proof-of-principle design based

on nonlinear fibre optics that could demonstrate the signature

of spacetime cloaking, and how the concept could find practical

applications in signal processing.

We are sure that there are many other possibilities that are

opened up by our introduction of the concept of the spacetime

cloak. Whilst the camera is said to never lie, it does not always

record the whole truth.

Acknowledgments

Support from EPSRC grant no. EP/E031463/1 and a

Leverhulme Embedding Emerging Disciplines award is

acknowledged. One of us (MWM) acknowledges a useful

discussion with Professor David Websdale.

Appendix

A.1. Calculating the material parameters for the spacetime

cloak

Calculating the required spatial and temporal material

properties of the spacetime cloak, and the resultant distribution

of electromagnetic energy, is most easily carried out

using a covariant approach. We take Cartesian–Lorentz

coordinates indexed as α = 0–3, i.e. {xα} = (ct, x, y, z).

The source-free Maxwell equations in a linear medium

responding instantaneously to electromagnetic excitation may

be expressed as

∂

∂xβ

(χαβμν Fμν) = 0, (6)

where Fμν is the electromagnetic field tensor given by (in units

where c = 1)

Fμν =

⎛

⎜⎜⎝

0 −Ex −Ey −Ez

Ex 0 Bz −By

Ey −Bz 0 Bx

Ez By −Bx 0

⎞

⎟⎟⎠

, (7)

The fourth-rank object χαβμν relates Fμν to Gαβ according to

Gαβ = χαβμν Fμν, (8)

where

Gαβ =

⎛

⎜⎜⎝

0 Dx Dy Dz

−Dx 0 Hz −Hy

−Dy −Hz 0 Hx

−Dz Hy −Hx 0

⎞

⎟⎟⎠

, (9)

7

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

-4 -2 0 2 4

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

-4 -2 0 2 4

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

x

ct

-4 -2 0 2 4

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

x '

-4 -2 0 2 4

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

ct′

x'

(a) (b)

(d) (c)

nσ

ct

ct′

x

Figure 6. The detailed construction of the curtain map.

i.e. Gαβ contains the fields D and H. The fourth-rank object

χαβμν contains the electromagnetic material parameters. In

non-covariant notation we have

D

H

=

− α

−αT μ

−1

−E

B

, (10)

where T indicates transpose. In fact, χαβμν is a fourth-rank

tensor density and transforms according to [10]

χα

β

μ

ν

= |det(Lλ

λ )|−1Lα

α Lβ

β Lμ

μ Lν

ν χαβμν , (11)

where Lα

α

= ∂xα

/∂xα.

For a transformation restricted to the (x0, x1) plane and

a base constitutive tensor for which the non-zero elements are

χ0101 = χ0202 = χ0303 = − ; χ2323 = χ3131 = χ1212 = μ

−1

we find the non-zero elements of χα

β

μ

ν

to be

χ0 1 0 1 = |Lα

α

|−1(L0

0 L1

1 L0

0 L1

1

− L0

0 L1

1 L0

1 L1

0

+ L0

1 L1

0 L0

1 L1

0

− L0

1 L1

0 L0

0 L1

1 )(− ) ≡ − || (12)

χ0 2 0 2 = |Lα

α

|−1(− L0

0 L0

0

+ μ

−1L0

1 L0

1 )

= χ0 3 0 3 ≡ − ⊥ (13)

χ2 3 2 3 = |Lα

α

|−1μ

−1 ≡ μ

−1

|| (14)

χ3 1 3 1 = |Lα

α

|−1(− L1

0 L1

0

+ μ

−1L1

1 L1

1 )

= χ1 2 1 2 ≡ μ

−1

⊥ (15)

χ0 2 1 2 = |Lα

α

|−1(− L0

0 L1

0

+ μ

−1L0

1 L1

1 )

= −χ0 3 3 1 = χ1 2 0 2 = −χ3 1 0 3 ≡ α. (16)

The material relations (10) can thus be expressed alternatively

as

Dx = ||Ex , Bx = μ||Hx , (17)

Dy

Dz

= ( ⊥ + α2μ⊥)

Ey

Ez

+ αμ⊥

Hz

−Hy

, (18)

By

Bz

= αμ⊥

−Ez

Ey

+ μ⊥

Hy

Hz

. (19)

Equations (18) and (19) are seen to be of the same form as

equations (3) and (4).

8

J. Opt. 13 (2011) 024003 MWMcCall et al

A.2. The curtain map in detail

The curtain map of figure 2 consists of successive spacetime

coordinate transformations (x, t) → ( . x, . t ) → ( . x

, .t

) →

(x

, t

) as shown in figure 6. Light propagating in a uniform

medium of refractive index n is represented by the straight

sub-luminal world lines of figure 6(a). The transition from

figures 6(a) to 6(b) is a Lorentz boost with speed v = c/n

applied according to

. x = (1 − n−2)

−1/2(x − ct/n), (20)

.t = (1 − n−2)

−1/2(t − x/nc). (21)

This produces the vertical photon world lines of figure 6(b)

wherein the rectangular box (|c.t| < nσ, | . x| < σ) is identified. Within this rectangle a void region is opened up via the operation of a ‘curtain map’ defined via . x = δ + c.t δ + nσ . x − sgn( . x)σ + sgn( . x)σ, (22) . t = .t, (23) with points outside the rectangle being mapped to themselves. The curtain map is shown for which σ = 1, n = 2, δ = 0.5. Inverse Lorentz-transforming back to the medium rest frame, where the coordinates are now (x , t ), yields the obliquely opened curtain as shown in figure 6(d). The deformed photon world lines in figure 6(d) all have positive gradients (i.e. propagate forwards in time) and have speeds (determined by the gradient of the world line) less than the vacuum speed of light. The hard edges of the curtain map induced by the use of | · | and sgn(·) functions in equation (22) may be softened by the use of suitable mollifier functions as explained in the next section. A.3. Mollifying the hard edges of the curtain map As defined above, the composite map (x, t) → ( . x, .t) → ( . x , . t ) → (x , t ) is ‘hard-edged’, meaning that sections of the intensity at a given t will change abruptly from zero inside the void region to a finite value outside. This would require unrealistic instantaneous changes in the material parameters at the edge of the cloak. In order to soften these edges we applied the following procedure. In the vertical ray frame (i.e. figure 6(b)) the functions sgn(ξ ) and |ξ| in equation (22) are replaced by tanh(ξ/) and ξ tanh(ξ/), respectively, where is a small parameter. Note that, as → 0, tanh(ξ/) → sgn(ξ ) and ξ tanh(ξ/) → |ξ|. For points inside the rectangle equations (22) and (23) are therefore replaced with . x in = δ + c.t tanh(c.t/) δ + nσ [ .x − tanh( . x/)σ] + tanh( . x/)σ , (24) .t in = . t . (25) The mollified curtain map of equations (24) and (25) is continuous and differentiable at the origin. Points outside the rectangle (| . x| > σ, |c.t| > nσ) are left unchanged as

before (i.e. . x

out

= .x, . t

out

= . t ). To avoid discontinuities at

the boundary of the box, the maps inside the rectangle and

outside the rectangle are graded into each other by means of

the mollified rectangular ‘top-hat’ function:

ρ( . x, c.t ) = 1

4

tanh

c.t + nσ

− tanh

c.t − nσ

×

tanh

. x + σ

− tanh

. x − σ

. (26)

Note that, as → 0, equation (26) becomes a rectangular tophat

function. The maps inside and outside the rectangle are

then graded into each other according to

. x = ρ . x

in

+ (1 − ρ) . x

out, (27)

.t = .t. (28)

This procedure ensures that the resultant map ( . x, .t ) →

( . x

, . t

) defined by combining equations (27) and (28) with

equations (24)–(26) is continuous at the boundary of the

rectangle. The complete map (x, t) → (x

, t

) is then

specified via the Lorentz transformation of equations (20)

and (21) sending (x, t) → ( . x, . t ), the mollified curtain map of

equations (27) and (28) sending ( . x, . t ) → ( . x

, . t

), followed by

the inverse Lorentz transformation sending ( . x

, . t

) → (x

, t

).

The composite map (x, t) →(x

, t

), with = 0.08, was used

to generate figure 2 in this paper by calculating numerically

the transformed material parameters using equations (12)–

(16), and then calculating the electromagnetic energy density

according to

U = 1

2 (D · E + B ·H). (29)

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