Early on in my annual graduate course on electromagnetic-wave propagation, I derive the familiar Snell's laws on reflection and transmission from the boundary conditions applied to the tangential components of the electric and magnetic fields across a planar dielectric interface. While I was preparing my lecture on reflection and transmission this fall, I received an e-mail edition of the Harvard Gazette. It contained an intriguing story  about “an optical phenomenon that defies laws of reflection and refraction.” Naturally, I wanted to look into the story right away to see (shiver) whether I would have to abandon my lecture notes on the redoubtable Snell's laws and start afresh.
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