Transforming Cherenkov radiation in metamaterials
Paper i proceeding, 2015

In this contribution, we explore the generation of light in transformation-optical media. When charged particles move through a transformation-optical material with a speed larger than the phase velocity of light in the medium, Cherenkov light is emitted. We show that the emitted Cherenkov cone can be modified with longitudinal and transverse stretching of the coordinates. Transverse coordinates stretching alters only the dimensions of the cone, whereas longitudinal stretching also changes the apparent velocity of the charged particle. These results demonstrate that the geometric formalism of transformation optics can be used not only for the manipulation of light beam trajectories, but also for controlling the emission of light, here for describing the Cherenkov cone in an arbitrary anisotropic medium. Subsequently, we illustrate this point by designing a radiator for a ring imaging Cherenkov radiator. Cherenkov radiators are used to identify unknown elementary particles by determining their mass from the Cherenkov radiation cone that is emitted as they pass through the detector apparatus. However, at higher particle momentum, the angle of the Cherenkov cone saturates to a value independent of the mass of the generating particle, making it difficult to effectively distinguish between different particles. Using our transformation optics description, we show how the Cherenkov cone and the cut-off can be controlled to yield a radiator medium with enhanced sensitivity for particle identification at higher momentum [Phys. Rey. Lett. 113, 167402 (2014)].


RICH detectors

transformation optics

Cherenkov radiation


V. Ginis

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

J. Danckaert

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

I. Veretennicoff

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Philippe Tassin

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Kondenserade materiens teori

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

0277786X (ISSN) 1996756X (eISSN)

Vol. 9546 95461Q



Atom- och molekylfysik och optik