5 September 2014 Insights of finite difference models of the wave equation and Maxwell's equations into the geometry of space-time
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Abstract
The finite difference time domain (FDTD) algorithm is a popular tool for photonics design and simulations, but it also can yield deep insights into the fundamental nature of light and - more speculatively - into the discretization and connectivity and geometry of space-time. The CFL stability limit in FDTD can be interpreted as a limit on the speed of light. It depends not only on the dimensionality of space-time, but also on its connectivity. Thus the speed of light not only tells us something about the dimensionality of space-time but also about its connectivity. The computational molecule in conventional 2-D FDTD is (х ± h,y)-(x,± y h)-(x-y), where h= triangle x = triangle y . It yields the CFL stability limit ctriangle/h≤ t/h 1 √2 . Including diagonal nodes (x± h, y ± h) in the computational molecule changes the connectivity of the space and changes the CFL limit. The FDTD model also predicts precursor signals (which physically exist). The Green’s function of the FDTD model, which differs from that of the wave equation, may tell us something about underlying periodicities in space-time. It may be possible to experimentally observe effects of space-time discretization and connectivity in optics experiments.
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James B. Cole, "Insights of finite difference models of the wave equation and Maxwell's equations into the geometry of space-time", Proc. SPIE 9187, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature V, 918708 (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061920; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061920
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