Lens optics as an optical computer for group contractions

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Baskal S., Kim Y.

PHYSICAL REVIEW E, vol.67, no.5, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1103/physreve.67.056601
  • Journal Name: PHYSICAL REVIEW E
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


It is shown that the one-lens system in para-axial optics can serve as an optical computer for contraction of Wigner's little groups and an analog computer that transforms analytically computations on a spherical surface to those on a hyperbolic surface. It is shown possible to construct a set of Lorentz transformations which leads to a 2x2 matrix whose expression is the same as those in the para-axial lens optics. It is shown that the lens focal condition corresponds to the contraction of the O(3)-like little group for a massive particle to the E(2)-like little group for a massless particle, and also to the contraction of the O(2,1)-like little group for a spacelike particle to the same E(2)-like little group. The lens-focusing transformations presented in this paper allow us to continue analytically the spherical O(3) world to the hyperbolic O(2,1) world, and vice versa. Since the traditional role of Wigner's little groups has been to dictate the internal space-time symmetries of massive, massless, and imaginary-mass particles, the one-lens system provides a unification of those symmetries.