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Can a nonradiating mode be externally excited? Nonscattering states vs. embedded eigenstates

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:47 authored by Francesco Monticone, Dimitrios Sounas, Alex Krasnok, Andrea Alù
In this Letter, we discuss the general problem of exciting radiationless field distributions in open cavities, with the goal of clarifying recent findings on this topic. We point out that the radiationless scattering states, like anapoles, considered in several recent studies, are not eigenmodes of an open cavity; therefore, their external excitation is neither surprising nor challenging (similar to the excitation of nonzero internal fields in a transparent, or cloaked, object). Even more, the radiationless anapole field distribution cannot be sustained without the actual presence of external incident fields. Conversely, we prove that the Lorentz reciprocity theorem prevents the external excitation of radiationless optical eigenmodes, as in the case of embedded eigenstates and bound states in the continuum in open cavities. Our discussion clarifies the analogies and differences between invisible bodies, nonradiating sources, anapole scatterers and emitters, and embedded eigenstates, especially in relation to their external excitation.

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