Negative phase velocity of electromagnetic waves and the cosmological constant

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Examining the propagation of electromagnetic plane waves with the wavevector directed in opposition to the time-averaged Poynting vector in cosmological spacetime with piecewise uniform metric, we show that such negative-phase-velocity (NPV) propagation is possible in certain de Sitter spacetimes but not in anti-de Sitter spacetimes. This difference suggests the possibility of an optical/electromagnetic experiment to discern the cosmological constant of a four-dimensional universe stemming from a five-dimensional brane universe.

Received: 23 March 2005, Revised: 9 April 2005, Published online: 22 April 2005


41.20.Jb Electromagnetic wave propagation; radiowave propagation - 04.40.Nr Einstein-Maxwell spacetimes, spacetimes with fluids, radiation or classical fields - 98.80.-k Cosmology

A. Lakhtakia: Also affiliated with: Department of Physics, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK