Cartographic distortions make dielectric spacetime analog models imperfect mimickers
Abstract
It is commonly assumed that if the optical metric of a dielectric medium is identical to the metric of a vacuum spacetime then light propagation through the dielectric mimics light propagation in the vacuum. However, just as the curved surface of the Earth cannot be mapped into a flat plane without distortion of some surface features, so too is it impossible to project the behavior of light from the vacuum into a dielectric analog residing in Minkowski spacetime without introducing distortions. We study the covariance properties of dielectric analog spacetimes and the kinematics of a congruence of light in the analog, and show how certain features can be faithfully emulated in the analog depending on the choice of projection, but that not all features can be simultaneously emulated without distortion. These findings indicate conceptual weaknesses in the idea of using analog spacetimes as a basis for transformation optics, and we show that a certain formulation of transformation optics closely related to analog spacetimes resolves these issues.
 Publication:

Physical Review D
 Pub Date:
 June 2016
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevD.93.124026
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1602.08341
 Bibcode:
 2016PhRvD..93l4026F
 Keywords:

 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 Physics  Optics
 EPrint:
 15 pages, 4 figures