Aug 2, 2012Science and Technology
'Extraordinarily strong' negative refraction metamaterials

Electromagnetic waves get small -- really small -- but they still can’t get small enough for researchers at Harvard University and Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. For two decades scientists have created artificial metamaterials with negative refractive-indices that bend light "wrong" direction”, shrinking electromagnetic waves seemingly impossible sub-wavelength scales. The potential for such materials are great, ranging from cloaking objects from view to hyper-small photonics circuits and communications. Thanks to the Harvard-Weizmann, now metamaterials are more advanced than ever. By simply switching focus on how the material functions -- from magnetic inductance to kinetic inductance --  the team created a metamaterial with an "extraordinarily strong" negative index of -700. That’s 100 times greater than any previously reported index. While the researcher as still investigating alternative methods, for now, the material only operates at temperatures below 20 degrees Kelvin.

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