Magnetochiral anisotropy refers to the phenomenon that when light is passed through a chiral medium placed in an external magnetic field, the refractive index, or equivalently, the absorption encountered by the light differs depending on whether it travels parallel or antiparallel to the magnetic field. It is a very small effect, the change in refractive index because of this effect alone being of the order of 10−11. This effect has recently been measured in an active ring laser interferometer in which the detection scheme convincingly eliminates the contributions from natural optical activity, the Faraday effect and other stray anisotropies in the system. The phenomenon is important in the context of fundamental interactions between light and matter and the governing symmetry principles, and also in biochemistry as one possible explanation for the homochriality of life.
Volume 95, 2021
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode