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Observation of image pair creation and annihilation from superluminal scattering sources

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Science Advances  15 Apr 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 4, e1501691
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501691
  • Fig. 1 Space-time diagrams.

    (A) An illustration of the (1 + 1)D example described in the text. (B) The extension of (A) to a (2 + 1)D case that exemplifies the experimental layout. The motion of the scattering source toward the observer (red arrows) can be either superluminal or subluminal. (C) Minkowski diagram for two sequential events. Because this case has v < c, time ordering is preserved. (D) Minkowski diagram for two (causally disconnected) events where v > c: time ordering is inverted.

  • Fig. 2 Time order inversion.

    (A) A sketch of the experiment. A plane wavefront (green) impinges on a tilted screen, and the scattered radiation is recorded at 90° with a time-resolving intensified charge-coupled device (iCCD) camera. Changing the angle θ between the input wave and the screen allows a change in the scattering source velocity component along the camera/observer direction. (B) Three snapshots acquired by the camera at three different times for an incident angle (θ = 65°) such that the scattering speed toward the camera is subluminal. In this case, the time order is maintained and the perceived source moves from left to right (full video available as Supplementary_Video_1.mp4). (C) For θ = 25°, the source velocity toward the detector is superluminal and event time ordering is reversed; that is, the same wavefront measured in (B) is now seen as propagating in the opposite direction, from right to left (full video available as Supplementary_Video_2.mp4). (D) The measured speed along the x direction (red dots) compared with the theoretical prediction (blue curve).

  • Fig. 3 Image pair annihilation and creation.

    (A) Layout of the experiment. (B) Three snapshots acquired by the camera at three different times for concave screen, resulting in the annihilation of image pairs (full video available as Supplementary_Video_3.mp4). a.u., arbitrary units. (C) Three acquisitions for a convex screen, resulting in the creation of image pairs (full video available as Supplementary_Video_4.mp4).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2/4/e1501691/DC1

    Supplementary text

    fig. S1. Layout of the situation described in the text for an angle of observation ϕ independent of the angle of incidence θ.

    fig. S2. Noninversion of the input pulse time ordering.

    fig. S3. Superluminal scattering of an optical pulse that changes color in time.

    fig. S4. SPAD camera measurements.

    fig. S5. Space-time Minkowski diagrams for image pair creation/annihilation.

    videos S1 to S4.

    Reference (28)

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary text
    • fig. S1. Layout of the situation described in the text for an angle of observation  independent of the angle of incidence θ.
    • fig. S2. Noninversion of the input pulse time ordering.
    • fig. S3. Superluminal scattering of an optical pulse that changes color in time.
    • fig. S4. SPAD camera measurements.
    • fig. S5. Space-time Minkowski diagrams for image pair creation/annihilation.
    • Reference (28)

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