Publication
Physical Review A
Paper

Time delay of evanescent electromagnetic waves and the analogy to particle tunneling

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Abstract

The analogy between quantum tunneling of particles and evanescent electromagnetic waves can be used to study particle tunneling. Possibilities for the measurement of the time delay resulting from the transmission of waves through an evanescent region, say with lower dielectric constant, are discussed. In contrast to particle tunneling, an electromagnetic pulse can consist of many photons and can be probed in a noninvasive way. We emphasize the delay of the centroid of an electromagnetic pulse transmitted below cutoff through a portion of a waveguide with the same cross section as the adjacent propagating guides. The boundary conditions at the interface between the propagating and the evanescent region lead to the same transmission and reflection coefficients as for a square-barrier tunneling problem. For a pulse restricted to a narrow frequency range, the time delay depends only on the frequency derivative of the phase shift associated with transmission. The delay of a centroid is just that; there is no deeper physical sense which links the incoming centroid to the outgoing centroid. For sufficiently long evanescent regions, the delay is independent of thickness. © 1992 The American Physical Society.

Date

01 Feb 1992

Publication

Physical Review A

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