Abstract

We investigate the spectral features of the emission from a superluminal polarization current whose distribution pattern rotates (with an angular frequency ω) and oscillates (with a frequency Ω>ω differing from an integral multiple of ω) at the same time. This type of polarization current is found in recent practical machines designed to investigate superluminal emission. Although all of the processes involved are linear, we find that the broadband emission contains frequencies that are higher than Ω by a factor of the order of (Ω/ω)2. This generation of frequencies not required for the creation of the source stems from mathematically rigorous consequences of the familiar classical expression for the retarded potential. The results suggest practical applications for superluminal polarization currents as broadband radio-frequency and infrared sources.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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