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Home > News > Discovery channelled: Big ideas under threat

August 30th, 2010

Discovery channelled: Big ideas under threat

Abstract:
Elusive "metamaterials" have flown under the public's radar until now. Pendry discovered these bizarre substances, built atom by atom using "nanotechnology" (know-how operating at a nanometric scale), in 2000. "Metamaterials sound like they're breaking some fundamental law of physics, but they're not," explains Delpy. "You can use them to make things which don't reflect, or which absorb light but allow light radiation to pass around their surface, effectively rendering them indiscernible."One of Pendry's US research associates, David Smith of North Carolina's Duke University, has received funding from the Pentagon to look into security applications for the materials.

"You can also use metamaterials to build things that detour acoustic waves," adds Sebastien Guenneau, a researcher at the University of Liverpool, "which could allow more resilient anti-earthquake buildings and dykes." And Delpy says metamaterials could improve the sensitivity of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), used by cancer specialists and others. If MRI scanner magnets are more sensitive, they can be smaller and cheaper.

Source:
independent.co.uk

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