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Incandescent temporal metamaterials
preprintposted on 2023-01-10, 02:59 authored by J. Enrique Vázquez-Lozano, Iñigo Liberal
Regarded as a promising alternative to spatially shaping matter, time-varying media can be seized to control and manipulate wave phenomena, including thermal radiation. Here, based upon the framework of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics, we elaborate a comprehensive quantum theoretical formulation that lies the basis for investigating thermal emission effects in time-modulated media. Our theory unveils new physics brought about by time-varying media: nontrivial correlations between thermal fluctuating currents at different frequencies and positions, thermal radiation overcoming the black-body spectrum, and quantum vacuum amplification effects at finite temperature. We illustrate how these features lead to striking phenomena and novel thermal emitters, specifically, showing that the time-modulation releases strong field fluctuations confined within epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) bodies, and that, in turn, it enables a narrowband (partially coherent) emission spanning the whole range of wavevectors, from near to far-field regimes.