Abstract

It is shown that the matrix describing a general (transparent or absorbing) multilayer is an element of the group SL(2, C), which is locally isomorphic to the (3+1)-dimensional restricted Lorentz group SO(3, 1). In consequence, a natural identification of the multilayer reflection and transmission coefficients with the parameters of a Lorentz transformation is performed. The correspondence between electric field and space–time variables is discussed as well.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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