An exact separation of both electric and magnetic energies into stored and lost energies is shown to be possible in the special case when the wave impedance is independent of frequency. A general expression for the electromagnetic energy density in such a dispersive medium having a negative refractive index is shown to be accurate in comparison with numerical results. Using an example metamaterial response that provides a negative refractive index, it is shown that negative time-averaged stored energy can occur. The physical meaning of this negative energy is explained as the energy temporarily borrowed by the field from the material. This observation for negative index materials is of interest when approaching properties for a perfect lens. In the broader context, the observation of negative stored energy is of consequence in the study of dispersive materials.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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