The language of Einstein spoken by optical instruments

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Baskal S., Kim Y.

OPTICS AND SPECTROSCOPY, vol.99, no.3, pp.443-446, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 99 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1134/1.2055941
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.443-446
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The mathematics of Lorentz transformations, called the Lorentz group, continues to play an important role in optical sciences. It is the basic mathematical language for coherent and squeezed states. It is noted that the six-parameter Lorentz group can be represented by two-by-two matrices. Since the beam transfer matrices in ray optics are largely based on two-by-two matrices or ABCD matrices, the Lorentz group is bound to be the basic language for ray optics, including polarization optics, interferometers, lens optics, multilayer optics, and the Poincare sphere. Because the group of Lorentz transformations and ray optics are based on the same two-by-two matrix formalism, ray optics can perform mathematical operations that correspond to transformations in special relativity. It is shown, in particular, that one-lens optics provides a mathematical basis for unifying the internal space-time symmetries of massive and massless particles in the Lorentz-covariant world. (c) 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.