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An Archimedes’ Screw captures water, feeding energy into it by lifting it to a higher level. We introduce the first instance of an optical Archimedes’ Screw, and demonstrate how this system is capable of capturing light, dragging it and amplifying it. We unveil new exact analytic solutions to Maxwell’s Equations for a wide family of chiral space-time media, and show their potential to achieve chirally selective amplification within widely tunable parity-time-broken phases. Our work, which may be readily implemented via pump-probe experiments with circularly polarized beams, opens a new direction in the physics of time-varying media by merging the rising field of space-time metamaterials and that of chiral systems, and offers a new playground for topological and non-Hermitian photonics, with potential applications to chiral spectroscopy and sensing.


This article was originally published in Nature Communications, available at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).



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