Experimental Verification of a Negative Index of Refraction

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Science  06 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5514, pp. 77-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058847

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We present experimental scattering data at microwave frequencies on a structured metamaterial that exhibits a frequency band where the effective index of refraction (n) is negative. The material consists of a two-dimensional array of repeated unit cells of copper strips and split ring resonators on interlocking strips of standard circuit board material. By measuring the scattering angle of the transmitted beam through a prism fabricated from this material, we determine the effective n, appropriate to Snell's law. These experiments directly confirm the predictions of Maxwell's equations that n is given by the negative square root ofɛ·μ for the frequencies where both the permittivity (ɛ) and the permeability (μ) are negative. Configurations of geometrical optical designs are now possible that could not be realized by positive index materials.

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