Abstract

The possibility of making an optically large (many wavelengths in diameter) object appear invisible has been a subject of many recent studies. Exact invisibility scenarios for large (relative to the wavelength) objects involve (meta)materials with superluminal phase velocity [refractive index (RI) less than unity] and/or magnetic response. We introduce a new approximation applicable to certain device geometries in the eikonal limit: piecewise-uniform scaling of the RI. This transformation preserves the ray trajectories but leads to a uniform phase delay. We show how to take advantage of phase delays to achieve a limited (directional and wavelength-dependent) form of invisibility that does not require loss-ridden (meta)materials with superluminal phase velocities.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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