Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Guiding Light Around Corners With New Metamaterial Device

Date:
August 1, 2009
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Scientists have built a device from metamaterials and transformational optics that delivers a complex set of instructions capable of guiding light with unprecedented accuracy. The discovery expands on earlier "cloaking" efforts to guide light around objects or space.

Boston College researchers report developing a device that can bend light along complex pathways. An illustration shows a simulated electromagnetic wave propagation. Guided by a set of instructions delivered by the device, the wave curves around the profile of the eastern US while behaving as if traveling in a straight line.
Credit: Optics Express

Using a composite metamaterial to deliver a complex set of instructions to a beam of light, Boston College physicists have created a device to guide electromagnetic waves around objects such as the corner of a building or the profile of the eastern seaboard.

As directed by the researchers' novel device, these beams continue to behave as if traveling in a straight line. In one computer simulation, Assistant Professor of Physics Willie J. Padilla and researcher Nathan Landy revealed the device could steer a beam of light along the boundary of the US, stretching from Michigan to Maine, down the seaboard, around Florida and into the Louisiana bayou, according to research published in the research journal Optics Express.

The researchers accomplished their feat by developing a much more precise set of instructions, which create a grid-like roadmap capable of twisting and turning a beam of light around objects or space. Their discovery is an extension of earlier metamaterial "cloaking" techniques, which have conjured up images of the Harry Potter character disappearing beneath his invisibility cloak.

Padilla and Landy report developing a space-mapping technique that delivers greater precision and efficiency guiding light along pathways that previously were too complex to sustain – from 90-degree angles to the rugged coastal profile of Maine. Furthermore, they've built this new device using relatively common dielectric materials, such as silicon.

"Our method combines the novel effects of transformational optics with the practicality of dielectric construction," Padilla and Landy report. "We show that our structures are capable of guiding light in an almost arbitrary fashion over an unprecedented range of frequencies."

The discovery builds upon a decade-long revolution in electromagnetics brought about by the emergence of metamaterials. Constructed from artificial composites, metamaterials have exhibited effects such as directing light at a negative index of refraction.

Researchers have combined metamaterials with artificial optical devices – also known as transformational optics – to demonstrate the "invisibility cloak" effect, essentially directing light around a space and effectively masking its existence. In addition, other researchers have used a method known as quasi-conformal mapping and very complex metamaterials to issue a somewhat imprecise set of instructions that create another space-cloaking effect.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Guiding Light Around Corners With New Metamaterial Device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090731121002.htm>.
Boston College. (2009, August 1). Guiding Light Around Corners With New Metamaterial Device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090731121002.htm
Boston College. "Guiding Light Around Corners With New Metamaterial Device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090731121002.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins