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.

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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
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