Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented the first mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion effortlessly in one direction while blocking it in the other, as described in a paper published on Feb. 13 in Nature. The material can be thought of as a mechanical one-way shield that blocks energy from coming in but easily transmits it going out the other side.
Metamaterials and artificial materials with effective properties that may be controlled to a large degree have been at the basis of exciting schemes for wave manipulation and are particularly well suited to hide an object from electromagnetic waves. To realize practical invisibility cloaks, transformation electromagnetics (TE) methods and scattering cancellation techniques are currently the most popular approaches. Simplified versions of these proposals have been implemented and examined in recent years.
Join Prof. Andrea Alù as he shares insight into his work with metamaterials, light and an "invisibility cloak."
Image: Erik Zumalt, The University of Texas at Austin
Profs. Andrea Alù and Mikhail Belkin in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new nonlinear metasurface, or meta mirror, that could one day enable the miniaturization of laser systems.