Hamilton, Alasdair C.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Imagine a thin sheet that performs optical illusions on the scene behind it. For example, a window that appears to reverse depth and to image objects in front of the sheet, or alternatively swimming goggles that cancel the refraction of surrounding water. This thesis will explore how such sheets may be realized.
With the refinement of optical fabrication technologies, it is now possible to mass-produce miniaturized optical components. Repeating them over the surface of a sheet, their combined effect may realize optical effects from the structure, rather than the substance, of the sheet. Specifically, such components may realize arbitrary ray-direction mappings at each point on the
sheet. Here such mappings, metarefractions, are explored from a range
This thesis will explore the inception, theoretical development and ultimately the experimental realization of metarefraction. At its core, this work is primarily mathematical in nature but draws upon both experimental and computational techniques in order to test and visualize the concepts that will be discussed. Examples of such ray-direction mappings will be explored as will
their ray- and wave-optical implications.
This thesis is structured as follows: Initially, the definition of metarefraction, along with some existing examples, is presented. Then, ray mappings are related to negative refraction, a subject that metarefraction has a surprising number of parallels to. New forms of metarefraction are then introduced, before being incorporated into imaging systems. Later, ray-optical transformations, such as metarefraction, are shown to be limited by implicit wave-optical restrictions. In some cases, these vastly reduce the number of light fields that may be exactly transformed. After this, the most general possible metarefraction is sought, and a simple case is realized experimentally. Further restrictions are then determined, before finishing with a discussion and summary, and by considering possible directions that future work could develop in.
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