Noncausal time response in frustrated total internal reflection?

J.J. Carey, J. Zawadzka, D.A. Jaroszynski, K. Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Tunneling of photons in frustrated total internal reflection has been studied in the time domain with single-cycle femtosecond pulses. It is seen that both the phase and energy of the pulse travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum. Theoretical analysis of the experiments shows that the time-response function for electromagnetic waves propagating in the air gap is noncausal. However, it is found that superluminal signal propagation is not possible in this case because of the inevitable diffractive spreading of the signal beam.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1434
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2000


  • time response
  • internal reflection
  • noncausal


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