Publication Details

Hey, D. & Li, E. (2018). Advances in synthetic gauge fields for light through dynamic modulation. Royal Society Open Science, 5 (4), 172447-1-172447-9.


Photons are weak particles that do not directly couple to magnetic fields. However, it is possible to generate a photonic gauge field by breaking reciprocity such that the phase of light depends on its direction of propagation. This non-reciprocal phase indicates the presence of an effective magnetic field for the light itself. By suitable tailoring of this phase, it is possible to demonstrate quantum effects typically associated with electrons, and, as has been recently shown, non-trivial topological properties of light. This paper reviews dynamicmodulation as a process for breaking the time-reversal symm etry of light and generating a synthetic gauge field, and discusses its role in topological photonics, as well as recent developments in exploring topological photonics in higher dimensions.



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