Intrinsic negative mass from nonlinearity

F. Di Mei*, P. Caramazza, D. Pierangeli, G. Di Domenico, H. Ilan, A. J. Agranat, P. Di Porto, E. DelRe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We propose and provide experimental evidence of a mechanism able to support negative intrinsic effective mass. The idea is to use a shape-sensitive nonlinearity to change the sign of the mass in the leading linear propagation equation. Intrinsic negative-mass dynamics is reported for light beams in a ferroelectric crystal substrate, where the diffusive photorefractive nonlinearity leads to a negative-mass Schrödinger equation. The signature of inverted dynamics is the observation of beams repelled from strongly guiding integrated waveguides irrespective of wavelength and intensity and suggests shape-sensitive nonlinearity as a basic mechanism leading to intrinsic negative mass.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number153902
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - 14 Apr 2016

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© 2016 American Physical Society.


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