Observation of superluminal and negative group velocities in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer

Sánchez-López, M. M.; Sánchez-Meroño, A.; Arias, J.; Davis, J. A.; Moreno, I.
August 2008
Applied Physics Letters;8/18/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 7, p074102
Academic Journal
We demonstrate superluminal and negative group velocity regimes in a linear passive Mach–Zehnder interferometer. This phenomenon occurs in a narrow frequency region around the interferometer’s transmission minima. Experiments are performed in the radio frequency range by using coaxial cables and 1×2 wave splitters. Group velocities of 2c and tunneling with a maximum fractional advancement of 0.12 were measured for electromagnetic sinusoidal wave packets of 2 μs width. These results agree with theoretical predictions using the interferometer’s transmission phase function. This system is proposed as a simpler alternative to photonic crystals and active or microstructured multiple-beam interferometers for sustaining anomalous group velocities.


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