Thin-film based optical analogue of a phenomenon in special relativity known as the Thomas Effect
We present a low-cost, simple design, thin-film-based Michelson-Gires-Tournois Interferometer (MGTI) as an optical analogue to the special relativity phenomenon known as Thomas effect. The MGTI is a typical Michelson Interferometer (MI) where one of the reflecting mirrors is replaced by Gires-Tournois Resonator (GTR). On the other hand, the Thomas Effect is a perceived rotation of the coordinate axis as observed at the initial reference frame when two relativistic non-collinear velocities are added. Formalizing the "Thomas effect-MGTI analogy" requires two steps. First, we establish a partial mathematical link between the Thomas effect and the phase response of the GTR. We then complete it by converting the phase response of the GTR to intensity using the unbalanced MGTI. Evaluating the analogue via simulation shows that the extracted phase response from MGTI captures the essential characteristics of the Thomas effect, confirming its viability as an optical analogue.