Controlling Cherenkov radiation with transformation-optical metamaterials

Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Oct 17;113(16):167402. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.167402. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


In high energy physics, unknown particles are identified by determining their mass from the Cherenkov radiation cone that is emitted as they pass through the detector apparatus. However, at higher particle momentum, the angle of the Cherenkov cone saturates to a value independent of the mass of the generating particle, making it difficult to effectively distinguish between different particles. Here, we show how the geometric formalism of transformation optics can be applied to describe the Cherenkov cone in an arbitrary anisotropic medium. On the basis of these results, we propose a specific anisotropic metamaterial to control Cherenkov radiation, leading to enhanced sensitivity for particle identification at higher momentum.