metamaterials

In the 21st century, photonic devices, which use light to transport large amounts of information quickly, will enhance or even replace the electronic devices that are ubiquitous in our lives today. But there’s a step needed before optical connections can be integrated into telecommunications systems and computers: researchers need to make it easier to manipulate… Read more

Invention of the first integrated circularly polarized light detector on a silicon chip opens the door for development of small, portable sensors that could expand the use of polarized light for drug screening, surveillance, optical communications and quantum computing, among other potential applications. The new detector was developed by a team of Vanderbilt University engineers… Read more

Invisibility cloaks are a staple of science fiction and fantasy, from Star Trek to Harry Potter, but don’t exist in real life. Or do they? Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have devised an ultra-thin invisibility “skin” cloak that can… Read more

A new “zippered tube” origami configuration makes paper structures stiff enough to hold weight yet able to fold flat for easy shipping and storage. Origami structures would be useful in many engineering and everyday applications, such as a robotic arm that could reach out and scrunch up, a construction crane that could fold to pick… Read more

A wormhole is a cosmic tunnel that can connect two distant regions of the universe. They have been popularised by the dissemination of theoretical physics and by works of science fiction like Stargate, Star Trek or, more recently, Interstellar. Using present-day technology it would be impossible to create a gravitational wormhole, as the field would… Read more