Topological non-Hermitian origin of surface Maxwell waves

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Title
Topological non-Hermitian origin of surface Maxwell waves
Author(s)
Bliokh K.Y.; Leykam D.; Lein M.; Nori F.
Publication Date
2019-02
Journal
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v.10, no.1, pp.580 -
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Abstract
Maxwell electromagnetism, describing the wave properties of light, was formulated 150 years ago. More than 60 years ago it was shown that interfaces between optical media (including dielectrics, metals, negative-index materials) can support surface electromagnetic waves, which now play crucial roles in plasmonics, metamaterials, and nano-photonics. Here we show that surface Maxwell waves at interfaces between homogeneous isotropic media described by real permittivities and permeabilities have a topological origin explained by the bulk-boundary correspondence. Importantly, the topological classification is determined by the helicity operator, which is generically non-Hermitian even in lossless optical media. The corresponding topological invariant, which determines the number of surface modes, is a Z4 number (or a pair of Z2 numbers) describing the winding of the complex helicity spectrum across the interface. Our theory provides a new twist and insights for several areas of wave physics: Maxwell electromagnetism, topological quantum states, non-Hermitian wave physics, and metamaterials. © 2019, The Author(s)
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/5717
ISSN
2041-1723
Appears in Collections:
Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems(복잡계 이론물리 연구단) > Journal Papers (저널논문)
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