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Natural Optical Activity of Metals

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The phenomenon of natural optical activity of noncentrosymmetric metals in their normal and superconducting states is described. The conductivity tensor is found contains the linear in wave vector off diagonal part responsible for the natural optical activity. The Kerr rotation of polarization of light reflected from the metal surface is calculated. Its value is expressed through the fine-structure constant and the ratio of light frequency to the band splitting due to the spin-orbit interaction.

This talk is part of the Quantum Matter Seminar series.

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