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Photonic topological insulators and pseudomagnetism

Mikael Rechtsman, Technion
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

In this talk I will discuss two examples in which ‘fictitious fields’ lead to surprising and useful effects in photonics that would be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve with real fields. Firstly, I will present the first observation of the topological protection of light - a ‘Photonic Floquet Topological Insulator’ [1]. The structure is an array of coupled helical waveguides (the helicity generates a fictitious circularly-polarized electric field that leads to the TI behavior). Secondly, I will present artificial magnetic fields (‘pseudomagnetism’) in photonic lattices [2]. The pseudomagnetic field is generated by inhomogeneously straining the system, and leads to photonic Landau levels with very high photonic density of states. Potential applications of artificial fields include robust photonic devices, efficient solid-state lighting and quantum dot sources, among others.

[1] Rechtsman, M. C. et al. Nature 496, 196–200 (2013)
[2] Rechtsman, M. C. et al. Nature Photonics 7, 153–158 (2013)

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