Negative IOR???


A POVray simulation of (a) empty glass, (b) water with regular IOR value, © water with a negative IOR value.

Total weirdness…:confused:

Yeah, negative IOR is fun. There are materials that can be made with this property, but I don’t know if they could be made so that they work with visible light.


I know, click the wiki I posted and check out the links therein.

[Edit] “For an illustration in non-technical language of one of the bizarre properties of materials with negative IOR, consider the following: a person submerged in a swimming pool filled with a hypothetical liquid with negative IOR would appear to float above the pool instead of appearing to be beneath the surface.” Talk about strange…

isn’t that the same as Zinvert?

There is a lab at Princeton where a professor named Claire Gmachl is working on this. I gave a tour of the electrical engineering department to prospective majors, and her lab was one of the stops. There just so happened to be a piece of material out that had a negative IOR in the mid-infrared. The first negative IOR materials had that property in the microwave range, now they’re into infrared…one step closer and we’ll have a material with a negative IOR in the visible light range!!

Cool stuff, eh?

The really weird thing is that all of these materials involve some kind of intricate layering of different substances. No one of the substances has a negative IOR, but if you layer them thinly enough, the result interacts with light of a certain wavelength range as one material would. This thin layering is called a metamaterial because of this behavior.

One optics class under my belt and I’m hooked!


Wow, didn’t realise they were up to infrared!

It all has to do with creating currents in split rings, right? Inductance and capacitance, though I can’t quite recall how (and its 4am…)

isn’t that the same as Zinvert?

No, and this exists, too.