Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely

Date:
February 29, 2012
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Using exotic man-made materials, scientists believe they can greatly enhance the forces of electromagnetism, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, without harming living beings or damaging electrical equipment.

By using exotic human-made materials, scientists from Duke University and Boston College believe they can greatly enhance the forces of electromagnetism (EM), one of the four fundamental forces of nature, without harming living beings or damaging electrical equipment.

Related Articles


This theoretical finding could have broad implications for such applications as magnetic levitation trains, which ride inches above the surface without touching it and are propelled by magnets receiving electrical current.

As the term indicates, EM is made up of two types of fields -- electric and magnetic. Alternating current sources generate both electric and magnetic fields, and increasing one of them generally leads to the increase in the other. Electrical fields can cause problems if they get too high.

"For any EM applications dealing with things on the human scale, high-intensity EM fields needed for the generation of strong EM forces interfere with other devices and may be harmful to biological tissues, including humans," said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering.

"The severity of this problem is substantially reduced if the fields are predominantly magnetic, since virtually all biological substances and the majority of conventional materials are transparent to magnetic fields," Urzhumov said. "While we can't suppress the electric field completely, a magnetically-active metamaterial could theoretically reduce the amount of current needed to generate a high enough magnetic field, thus reducing parasitic electric fields in the environment and making high-power EM systems safer. "

The results of Urzhumov's analysis were published online in the journal Physical Review B, and the team's research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The solution to this problem comes from the recent ability to fabricate exotic composite materials known as metamaterials, which are not so much a single substance, but an entire human-made structure that can be engineered to exhibit properties not readily found in nature. These metamaterials can be fabricated into a limitless array of sizes, shapes and properties depending on their intended use.

In the magnetic levitation train example, conventional electromagnets could be supplemented by a metamaterial, which would have been designed to produce significantly higher intensities of magnetic fields using the same amount of electricity.

The Duke scientists came up with the theoretical underpinning for the metamaterial, which is being fabricated by collaborators at Boston College, led by Willie Padilla, associate professor of physics.

"The metamaterial should be able to increase the magnetic force without increasing the electric current in the source coil," Urzhumov said. "The phenomenon of magnetostatic surface resonance could allow magnetic levitation systems to increase the mass of objects being levitated by one order of magnitude while using the same amount of electricity."

EM is currently being used in a host of devices and applications, ranging from subatomic "optical tweezers" scientists use to manipulate microscopic particles with laser beams, to potentially highly destructive weapons.

Urzhumov works in the laboratory of Duke's David R. Smith, William Bevan Professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Duke's Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics. Smith has previously demonstrated that similarly designed metamaterials could act as a "cloak" to different frequencies of light and other waves.

Wenchen Chen and Chris Bingham from Boston College's physics department were also members of the research team.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yaroslav Urzhumov, Wenchen Chen, Chris Bingham, Willie Padilla, David Smith. Magnetic levitation of metamaterial bodies enhanced with magnetostatic surface resonances. Physical Review B, 2012; 85 (5) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.85.054430

Cite This Page:

Duke University. "Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105131.htm>.
Duke University. (2012, February 29). Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105131.htm
Duke University. "Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105131.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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