Spectral switches of light in curved space

Suting Ju, Chenni Xu, Li Gang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acting as analog models of curved spacetime, surfaces of revolution employed for exploring novel optical effects are followed with great interest nowadays to enhance our comprehension of the universe. It is of general interest to understand the spectral effect of light propagating a long distance in the universe. Here we address the issue of how curved space affects the phenomenon of spectral switches, a spectral sudden change during propagation caused by the finite size of a light source. Based on the point spread function of curved space under the paraxial approximation, the expression of the on-axis output spectrum is derived and calculated numerically. A theoretical way to find on-axis spectral switches is also derived, which interprets the effect of spatial curvature of surfaces on spectral switches as a modification of the effective Fresnel number. We find that the spectral switches on surfaces with positive Gaussian curvature are closer to the source compared with the flat surface case, while the effect is opposite on surfaces with negative Gaussian curvature. We also find that the spectral switches farther away from the light source are more sensitive to the change in Gaussian curvature. This work deepens our understanding of the properties of fully and partially coherent lights propagating on two-dimensional curved space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063509
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

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© 2024 American Physical Society.


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