, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 308-318
Date: 29 Apr 2010

Illusion optics

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The technique of “transformation optics” establishes a correspondence between coordinate transformation and material constitutive parameters. Most of the transformation optics mappings give metamaterials that have graded positive refractive indices that can steer light in curves defined by the coordinate transformation. We will focus on those “folded-geometry mappings” that give negative refractive index materials that have special wave scattering properties. One interesting example is a kind of remote illusion device that can transform the stereoscopic image of an object into the illusion of some other object of our choice. The conceptual device can create the illusion without touching or encircling the object. For any incident wave, the device transforms the scattered waves of the original object into that of the object chosen for illusion outside a virtual boundary. We will illustrate some possible applications of this type of metamaterial remote device, including “cloaking at a distance,” partial cloaking, cloaking from an embedded device, revealing a hidden object inside a container, turning the image of one object into that of another object, and seeing through a wall. The feasibility of building this remote illusion device by metamaterials will also be discussed.