June 23, 2008
Transformation optics is a new tool for the design of electromagnetic media. Using transformation optics, researchers can visualize the interaction of certain complex materials with light as a warping of space. The physical basis underlying this connection, however, extends also to sources of light—electric currents, for example. In a recent paper published in Optics Express, Nathan Kundtz and colleagues illustrate the application of transformation optics to electric currents. In one example, they show that the identical radiation pattern from a straight (“dipole”) antenna can be achieved using one that is of arbitrary shape; as a second example, they show that an antenna can be embedded in a transformation optical medium to reduce or eliminate scattering from nearby objects. The transformation optical technique may have relevance to advanced antenna design.