Resolving the wave vector and the refractive index from the coefficient of reflectance

V. U. Nazarov*, Y. C. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We resolve the existing controversy concerning the selection of the sign of the normal-to-the-interface component of the wave vector kz of an electromagnetic wave in an active (gain) medium. Our method exploits the fact that no ambiguity exists in the case of a film of the active medium, since its coefficient of reflectance is invariant under the inversion of the sign of kz. Then we show that the limit of the infinite film thickness determines a unique and physically consistent choice of the wave vector and the refractive index. Important practical implications of the theory are identified and discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2939-2941
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Volume32
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

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