Media having this common property may be termed dispersive media. Sometimes the term chromatic dispersion is used for specificity.
Although the term is used in the field of optics to describe light and other electromagnetic waves, dispersion in the same sense can apply to any sort of wave motion such as acoustic dispersion in the case of sound and seismic waves, in gravity waves (ocean waves), and for telecommunication signals along transmission lines (such as coaxial cable) or optical fiber.
In optics, one important and familiar consequence of dispersion is the change in the angle of refraction of different colors of light, as seen in the spectrum produced by a dispersive prism and in chromatic aberration of lenses. Design of compound achromatic lenses, in which chromatic aberration is largely cancelled, uses a quantification of a glass's dispersion given by its Abbe number V, where lower Abbe numbers correspond to greater dispersion over the visible spectrum. In some applications such as telecommunications, the absolute phase of a wave is often not important but only the propagation of wave packets or "pulses"; in that case one is interested only in variations of group velocity with frequency, so-called group-velocity dispersion.
The most familiar example of dispersion is probably a rainbow, in which dispersion causes the spatial separation of a white light into components of different wavelengths (different colors). However, dispersion also has an effect in many other circumstances: for example, group velocity dispersion (GVD) causes pulses to spread in optical fibers, degrading signals over long distances; also, a cancellation between group-velocity dispersion and nonlinear effects leads to soliton waves.
Most often, chromatic dispersion refers to bulk material dispersion, that is, the change in refractive index with optical frequency. However, in a waveguide there is also the phenomenon of waveguide dispersion, in which case a wave's phase velocity in a structure depends on its frequency simply due to the structure's geometry. More generally, "waveguide" dispersion can occur for waves propagating through any inhomogeneous structure (e.g., a photonic crystal), whether or not the waves are confined to some region. In a waveguide, both types of dispersion will generally be present, although they are not strictly additive. For example, in fiber optics the material and waveguide dispersion can effectively cancel each other out to produce a zero-dispersion wavelength, important for fast fiber-optic communication.
Material dispersion can be a desirable or undesirable effect in optical applications. The dispersion of light by glass prisms is used to construct spectrometers and spectroradiometers. Holographic gratings are also used, as they allow more accurate discrimination of wavelengths. However, in lenses, dispersion causes chromatic aberration, an undesired effect that may degrade images in microscopes, telescopes, and photographic objectives.
The phase velocity, v, of a wave in a given uniform medium is given by
In general, the refractive index is some function of the frequency f of the light, thus n = n(f), or alternatively, with respect to the wave's wavelength n = n(λ). The wavelength dependence of a material's refractive index is usually quantified by its Abbe number or its coefficients in an empirical formula such as the Cauchy or Sellmeier equations.
Because of the Kramers–Kronig relations, the wavelength dependence of the real part of the refractive index is related to the material absorption, described by the imaginary part of the refractive index (also called the extinction coefficient). In particular, for non-magnetic materials (μ = μ0), the susceptibility χ that appears in the Kramers–Kronig relations is the electric susceptibility χe = n2 − 1.
The most commonly seen consequence of dispersion in optics is the separation of white light into a color spectrum by a prism. From Snell's law it can be seen that the angle of refraction of light in a prism depends on the refractive index of the prism material. Since that refractive index varies with wavelength, it follows that the angle that the light is refracted by will also vary with wavelength, causing an angular separation of the colors known as angular dispersion.
For visible light, refraction indices n of most transparent materials (e.g., air, glasses) decrease with increasing wavelength λ:
In this case, the medium is said to have normal dispersion. Whereas, if the index increases with increasing wavelength (which is typically the case in the ultraviolet), the medium is said to have anomalous dispersion.
At the interface of such a material with air or vacuum (index of ~1), Snell's law predicts that light incident at an angle θ to the normal will be refracted at an angle arcsin(sin θ/). Thus, blue light, with a higher refractive index, will be bent more strongly than red light, resulting in the well-known rainbow pattern.
Another consequence of dispersion manifests itself as a temporal effect. The formula v = c/ calculates the phase velocity of a wave; this is the velocity at which the phase of any one frequency component of the wave will propagate. This is not the same as the group velocity of the wave, that is the rate at which changes in amplitude (known as the envelope of the wave) will propagate. For a homogeneous medium, the group velocity vg is related to the phase velocity v by (here λ is the wavelength in vacuum, not in the medium):
The group velocity vg is often thought of as the velocity at which energy or information is conveyed along the wave. In most cases this is true, and the group velocity can be thought of as the signal velocity of the waveform. In some unusual circumstances, called cases of anomalous dispersion, the rate of change of the index of refraction with respect to the wavelength changes sign (becoming negative), in which case it is possible for the group velocity to exceed the speed of light (vg > c). Anomalous dispersion occurs, for instance, where the wavelength of the light is close to an absorption resonance of the medium. When the dispersion is anomalous, however, group velocity is no longer an indicator of signal velocity. Instead, a signal travels at the speed of the wavefront, which is c irrespective of the index of refraction. Recently, it has become possible to create gases in which the group velocity is not only larger than the speed of light, but even negative. In these cases, a pulse can appear to exit a medium before it enters. Even in these cases, however, a signal travels at, or less than, the speed of light, as demonstrated by Stenner, et al.
The group velocity itself is usually a function of the wave's frequency. This results in group velocity dispersion (GVD), which causes a short pulse of light to spread in time as a result of different frequency components of the pulse travelling at different velocities. GVD is often quantified as the group delay dispersion parameter (again, this formula is for a uniform medium only):
If D is greater than zero, the medium is said to have positive dispersion (normal dispersion). If D is less than zero, the medium has negative dispersion (anomalous dispersion). If a light pulse is propagated through a normally dispersive medium, the result is the shorter wavelength components travel slower than the longer wavelength components. The pulse therefore becomes positively chirped, or up-chirped, increasing in frequency with time. Conversely, if a pulse travels through an anomalously dispersive medium, high frequency components travel faster than the lower ones, and the pulse becomes negatively chirped, or down-chirped, decreasing in frequency with time.
The result of GVD, whether negative or positive, is ultimately temporal spreading of the pulse. This makes dispersion management extremely important in optical communications systems based on optical fiber, since if dispersion is too high, a group of pulses representing a bit-stream will spread in time and merge, rendering the bit-stream unintelligible. This limits the length of fiber that a signal can be sent down without regeneration. One possible answer to this problem is to send signals down the optical fibre at a wavelength where the GVD is zero (e.g., around 1.3–1.5 μm in silica fibres), so pulses at this wavelength suffer minimal spreading from dispersion. In practice, however, this approach causes more problems than it solves because zero GVD unacceptably amplifies other nonlinear effects (such as four wave mixing). Another possible option is to use soliton pulses in the regime of negative dispersion, a form of optical pulse which uses a nonlinear optical effect to self-maintain its shape. Solitons have the practical problem, however, that they require a certain power level to be maintained in the pulse for the nonlinear effect to be of the correct strength. Instead, the solution that is currently used in practice is to perform dispersion compensation, typically by matching the fiber with another fiber of opposite-sign dispersion so that the dispersion effects cancel; such compensation is ultimately limited by nonlinear effects such as self-phase modulation, which interact with dispersion to make it very difficult to undo.
Dispersion control is also important in lasers that produce short pulses. The overall dispersion of the optical resonator is a major factor in determining the duration of the pulses emitted by the laser. A pair of prisms can be arranged to produce net negative dispersion, which can be used to balance the usually positive dispersion of the laser medium. Diffraction gratings can also be used to produce dispersive effects; these are often used in high-power laser amplifier systems. Recently, an alternative to prisms and gratings has been developed: chirped mirrors. These dielectric mirrors are coated so that different wavelengths have different penetration lengths, and therefore different group delays. The coating layers can be tailored to achieve a net negative dispersion.
Waveguides are highly dispersive due to their geometry (rather than just to their material composition). Optical fibers are a sort of waveguide for optical frequencies (light) widely used in modern telecommunications systems. The rate at which data can be transported on a single fiber is limited by pulse broadening due to chromatic dispersion among other phenomena.
In general, for a waveguide mode with an angular frequency ω(β) at a propagation constant β (so that the electromagnetic fields in the propagation direction z oscillate proportional to ei(βz−ωt)), the group-velocity dispersion parameter D is defined as:
where λ = 2πc/ is the vacuum wavelength and vg = dω/ is the group velocity. This formula generalizes the one in the previous section for homogeneous media, and includes both waveguide dispersion and material dispersion. The reason for defining the dispersion in this way is that |D| is the (asymptotic) temporal pulse spreading Δt per unit bandwidth Δλ per unit distance travelled, commonly reported in ps/nm/km for optical fibers.
In the case of multi-mode optical fibers, so-called modal dispersion will also lead to pulse broadening. Even in single-mode fibers, pulse broadening can occur as a result of polarization mode dispersion (since there are still two polarization modes). These are not examples of chromatic dispersion as they are not dependent on the wavelength or bandwidth of the pulses propagated.
When a broad range of frequencies (a broad bandwidth) is present in a single wavepacket, such as in an ultrashort pulse or a chirped pulse or other forms of spread spectrum transmission, it may not be accurate to approximate the dispersion by a constant over the entire bandwidth, and more complex calculations are required to compute effects such as pulse spreading.
In particular, the dispersion parameter D defined above is obtained from only one derivative of the group velocity. Higher derivatives are known as higher-order dispersion. These terms are simply a Taylor series expansion of the dispersion relation β(ω) of the medium or waveguide around some particular frequency. Their effects can be computed via numerical evaluation of Fourier transforms of the waveform, via integration of higher-order slowly varying envelope approximations, by a split-step method (which can use the exact dispersion relation rather than a Taylor series), or by direct simulation of the full Maxwell's equations rather than an approximate envelope equation.
In the technical terminology of gemology, dispersion is the difference in the refractive index of a material at the B and G (686.7 nm and 430.8 nm) or C and F (656.3 nm and 486.1 nm) Fraunhofer wavelengths, and is meant to express the degree to which a prism cut from the gemstone demonstrates "fire". Fire is a colloquial term used by gemologists to describe a gemstone's dispersive nature or lack thereof. Dispersion is a material property. The amount of fire demonstrated by a given gemstone is a function of the gemstone's facet angles, the polish quality, the lighting environment, the material's refractive index, the saturation of color, and the orientation of the viewer relative to the gemstone.
In photographic and microscopic lenses, dispersion causes chromatic aberration, which causes the different colors in the image not to overlap properly. Various techniques have been developed to counteract this, such as the use of achromats, multielement lenses with glasses of different dispersion. They are constructed in such a way that the chromatic aberrations of the different parts cancel out.
Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that emit pulses at very regular intervals ranging from milliseconds to seconds. Astronomers believe that the pulses are emitted simultaneously over a wide range of frequencies. However, as observed on Earth, the components of each pulse emitted at higher radio frequencies arrive before those emitted at lower frequencies. This dispersion occurs because of the ionized component of the interstellar medium, mainly the free electrons, which make the group velocity frequency dependent. The extra delay added at a frequency ν is
where the dispersion constant kDM is given by
and the dispersion measure (DM) is the column density of free electrons (total electron content) — i.e. the number density of electrons ne (electrons/cm3) integrated along the path traveled by the photon from the pulsar to the Earth — and is given by
Typically for astronomical observations, this delay cannot be measured directly, since the emission time is unknown. What can be measured is the difference in arrival times at two different frequencies. The delay Δt between a high frequency νhi and a low frequency νlo component of a pulse will be
Rewriting the above equation in terms of Δt allows one to determine the DM by measuring pulse arrival times at multiple frequencies. This in turn can be used to study the interstellar medium, as well as allow for observations of pulsars at different frequencies to be combined.
Acoustic dispersion is the phenomenon of a sound wave separating into its component frequencies as it passes through a material. The phase velocity of the sound wave is viewed as a function of frequency. Hence, separation of component frequencies is measured by the rate of change in phase velocities as the radiated waves pass through a given medium.Chirp
A chirp is a signal in which the frequency increases (up-chirp) or decreases (down-chirp) with time. In some sources, the term chirp is used interchangeably with sweep signal. It is commonly used in sonar, radar, and laser, but has other applications, such as in spread-spectrum communications.
In spread-spectrum usage, surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices such as reflective array compressors (RACs) are often used to generate and demodulate the chirped signals. In optics, ultrashort laser pulses also exhibit chirp, which, in optical transmission systems, interacts with the dispersion properties of the materials, increasing or decreasing total pulse dispersion as the signal propagates. The name is a reference to the chirping sound made by birds; see bird vocalization.Dispersive partial differential equation
In mathematics, a dispersive partial differential equation or dispersive PDE is a partial differential equation that is dispersive. In this context, dispersion means that waves of different wavelength propagate at different phase velocities.Group velocity
The group velocity of a wave is the velocity with which the overall shape of the wave's amplitudes—known as the modulation or envelope of the wave—propagates through space.
For example, if a stone is thrown into the middle of a very still pond, a circular pattern of waves with a quiescent center appears in the water, also known as a capillary wave. The expanding ring of waves is the wave group, within which one can discern individual wavelets of differing wavelengths traveling at different speeds. The shorter waves travel faster than the group as a whole, but their amplitudes diminish as they approach the leading edge of the group. The longer waves travel more slowly, and their amplitudes diminish as they emerge from the trailing boundary of the group.Group velocity dispersion
In optics, group velocity dispersion (GVD) is a characteristic of a dispersive medium, used most often to determine how the medium will affect the duration of an optical pulse traveling through it. Formally, GVD is defined as the derivative of the inverse of group velocity of light in a material with respect to angular frequency,
where and are angular frequencies, and the group velocity is defined as . The units of group velocity dispersion are [time]2/[distance], often expressed in fs2/mm.
Equivalently, group velocity dispersion can be defined in terms of the medium-dependent wave vector according to
or in terms of the refractive index according to
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.Index of physics articles (D)
The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.
To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.Index of wave articles
This is a list of Wave topics.Intramodal dispersion
In fiber-optic communication, an intramodal dispersion, is a category of dispersion that occurs within a single mode optical fiber. This dispersion mechanism is a result of material properties of optical fiber and applies to both single-mode and multi-mode fibers. Two distinct types of intramodal dispersion are: chromatic dispersion and polarization mode dispersion.Ionosphere
The ionosphere () is the ionized part of Earth's upper atmosphere, from about 60 km (37 mi) to 1,000 km (620 mi) altitude, a region that includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere. The ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important role in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.Kramers–Kronig relations
The Kramers–Kronig relations are bidirectional mathematical relations, connecting the real and imaginary parts of any complex function that is analytic in the upper half-plane. These relations are often used to calculate the real part from the imaginary part (or vice versa) of response functions in physical systems, because for stable systems, causality implies the analyticity condition, and conversely, analyticity implies causality of the corresponding stable physical system. The relation is named in honor of Ralph Kronig and Hendrik Anthony Kramers. In mathematics these relations are known under the names Sokhotski–Plemelj theorem and Hilbert transform.Linear response function
A linear response function describes the input-output relationship of a signal transducer such as a radio turning electromagnetic waves into music or a neuron turning synaptic input into a response. Because of its many applications in information theory, physics and engineering there exist alternative names for specific linear response functions such as susceptibility, impulse response or impedance, see also transfer function. The concept of a Green's function or fundamental solution of an ordinary differential equation is closely related.List of cycles
This is a list of recurring cycles. See also Index of wave articles, Time, and Pattern.Phase velocity
The phase velocity of a wave is the rate at which the phase of the wave propagates in space. This is the velocity at which the phase of any one frequency component of the wave travels. For such a component, any given phase of the wave (for example, the crest) will appear to travel at the phase velocity. The phase velocity is given in terms of the wavelength λ (lambda) and time period T as
Equivalently, in terms of the wave's angular frequency ω, which specifies angular change per unit of time, and wavenumber (or angular wave number) k, which represents the proportionality between the angular frequency ω and the linear speed (speed of propagation) νp,
To understand where this equation comes from, consider a basic sine wave, A cos (kx−ωt). After time t, the source has produced ωt/2π = ft oscillations. After the same time, the initial wave front has propagated away from the source through space to the distance x to fit the same number of oscillations, kx = ωt.
Thus the propagation velocity v is v = x/t = ω/k. The wave propagates faster when higher frequency oscillations are distributed less densely in space. Formally, Φ = kx−ωt is the phase. Since ω = −dΦ/dt and k = +dΦ/dx, the wave velocity is v = dx/dt = ω/k.Signal velocity
The signal velocity is the speed at which a wave carries information. It describes how quickly a message can be communicated (using any particular method) between two separated parties. No signal velocity can exceed the speed of a light pulse in a vacuum (by Special Relativity).
Signal velocity is usually equal to group velocity (the speed of a short "pulse" or of a wave-packet's middle or "envelope"). However, in a few special cases (e.g., media designed to amplify the front-most parts of a pulse and then attenuate the back section of the pulse), group velocity can exceed the speed of light in vacuum, while the signal velocity will still be less than or equal to the speed of light in vacuum.
In electronic circuits, signal velocity is one member of a group of five closely related parameters. In these circuits, signals are usually treated as operating in TEM (Transverse ElectroMagnetic) mode. That is, the fields are perpendicular to the direction of transmission and perpendicular to each other. Given this presumption, the quantities: signal velocity, the product of dielectric constant and magnetic permeability, characteristic impedance, inductance of a structure, and capacitance of that structure, are all related such that if you know any two, you can calculate the rest. In a uniform medium if the permeability is constant, then variation of the signal velocity will be dependent only on variation of the dielectric constant.
In a transmission line, signal velocity is the reciprocal of the square root of the capacitance-inductance product, where inductance and capacitance are typically expressed as per-unit length. In circuit boards made of FR-4 material, the signal velocity is typically about six inches (15 cm) per nanosecond. In circuit boards made of Polyimide material, the signal velocity is typically about 16.3 cm per nanosecond or 6.146 ps/mm. In these boards, permeability is usually constant and dielectric constant often varies from location to location, causing variations in signal velocity. As data rates increase, these variations become a major concern for computer manufacturers.
where is the relative permittivity of the medium, is the relative permeability of the medium,and is the speed of light in vacuum. The approximation shown is used in many practical context because for most common materials .Tired light
Tired light is a class of hypothetical redshift mechanisms that was proposed as an alternative explanation for the redshift-distance relationship. These models have been proposed as alternatives to the models that require metric expansion of space of which the Big Bang and the Steady State cosmologies are the most famous examples. The concept was first proposed in 1929 by Fritz Zwicky, who suggested that if photons lost energy over time through collisions with other particles in a regular way, the more distant objects would appear redder than more nearby ones. Zwicky himself acknowledged that any sort of scattering of light would blur the images of distant objects more than what is seen. Additionally, the surface brightness of galaxies evolving with time, time dilation of cosmological sources, and a thermal spectrum of the cosmic microwave background have been observed — these effects should not be present if the cosmological redshift was due to any tired light scattering mechanism. Despite periodic re-examination of the concept, tired light has not been supported by observational tests and has lately been consigned to consideration only in the fringes of astrophysics.Victor Robertovich Bursian
Victor Robertovich Bursian(December 25, 1886, St. Petersburg - December 15, 1945, Leningrad) -was a Soviet scientist who worked on Theoretical physics, Geophysics, expert in Electricity and Thermodynamics, crystal physics, and the theory of Electrical resistivity tomography.
|Synthetic moissanite (SiC)||0.104||—|
|Synth. sapphire (Al2O3)||0.011||—|
|Synth. quartz (SiO2)||0.008||—|
|Smoky quartz (SiO2)||0.013||0.008|
|Rose quartz (SiO2)||0.013||0.008|
|Synthetic cassiterite (SnO2)||0.041||—|
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