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Keywords:

  • Negative refraction;
  • gyroelectric chiral medium;
  • magnetoelectric material;
  • eigen modes;
  • quantum vacuum effect

Abstract

Some nontrivial effects (negative refraction and quantum vacuum effects) in gyroelectric chiral medium and magnetoelectric material are studied. It is shown that the refractive indices corresponding to some of the eigen modes in the gyroelectric chiral medium and magnetoelectric material may have negative real parts since both the gyroelectric and magnetoelectric parameters can dramatically reduce the refractive indices in certain frequency bands. As an anisotropic electromagnetic environment could be created due to the breaking of universal symmetry of vacuum mode distribution (and hence the noncompensation effect of a pair of counter-propagating vacuum modes arises) inside the magnetoelectric material, the quantum vacuum in such an anisotropic electromagnetic environment may have a nonzero angular momentum. A novel quantum vacuum effect (angular momentum transfer between the quantum vacuum and the anisotropic magnetoelectric material) that may accompany the effect of magnetoelectric negative refraction is suggested. Such a nontrivial effect can be utilized to design sensitive, accurate measurement techniques, e.g., nanoscale-sensitivity sensor.