Washington, Aug 1 (ANI): It is now possible to bend the light along the corner of a building or even the profile of the eastern seaboard, for Boston College physicists have created a new metamaterial device that can guide electromagnetic waves around various objects.
As directed by the researchers' novel device, these beams continue to behave as if travelling in a straight line.
In fact, using one computer simulation, Assistant Professor of Physics Willie J. Padilla and researcher Nathan Landy found that 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.
The researchers succeeded in 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.
The discovery comes in line with earlier metamaterial "cloaking" techniques, which have conjured up images of the Harry Potter character disappearing beneath his invisibility cloak.
The researchers have developed 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.
In addition, they have 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. We show that our structures are capable of guiding light in an almost arbitrary fashion over an unprecedented range of frequencies," said Padilla and Landy.
The discovery is based on 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.The study has been published in the journal Optics Express. (ANI)