Thursday, 24th April 2014

“Antimatter optics’ could make objects invisible

Posted on 19. Jan, 2010 in Experiments & Research, Physics

scince11This is not the scenario of a , but nice and although the result of a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters by a team of researchers at Imm, Cnr of Naples in collaboration with American colleagues from Berkeley Labs.

They managed to achieve a material capable of annulling the properties of light making objects invisible . The team of researchers from the Institute of Microelectronics and Microsystems of CNR (Imm-Cnr), coordinated by Vito MOCEL, conducted its study in the laboratories of the University Berkeley. The composite material artificially created, called metamaterial, has properties opposite to those we are used because of the modified structure. In the case of this study, researchers were able to confer the properties necessary to cancel the propagation of light in air and thus make the object invisible.

“Our metamaterial has been achieved by changing the nanoscale structure of silicon in which we conducted micro perforations.” Says Vito MOCEL. “We then alternated a thousand small bands of this metamaterial which exhibits characteristics opposite to those of air, with air portions of the same wavelength. When light passes through the system is air and ‘anti-air’, it’s as if he had crossed neither one nor the other two materials. ” It is as if this space, at least from the point view of the light did not exist.

“Indeed, the metamaterial has a refractive index contrast Has the air (-1) while the air is equivalent to the vacuum conventionally and has a refractive index of 1, “Vito continued MOCEL. “In this sense, the metamaterial is ‘anti-air’. By juxtaposing, anti-air and air vanish, at least as regards the propagation of light. The result is that air and anti – Air placed side by side are rendered invisible, at least for a certain wavelength. ”

For now, the prototype made to measure just 4 millimeters by 4, it is still far from creating invisibility cloaks, but the study has shown that metamaterials operate and can be used for real applications, controlling the light to a level unthinkable a few years ago.

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