Whether viewed dimly through the haze and lights of a city or in all their glory in a pristine wilderness, the stars that surround the Earth are magnificent, and one day Earthlings will travel to some of the new planets that astronomers are locating. However, the stars we see are not necessarily where we think they are, according to an international research team.
"We know that the light from distant stars takes a very long time to reach the Earth," says Dr. Akhlesh Lakhtakia, distinguished professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State. "But, taking into account the distance a star will have moved while that light travels, we still may not be able to accurately locate the star.
Negative phase velocity media or materials with negative refractive index may be responsible for this locational uncertainty. Recently, materials researchers at the University of California San Diego, working with micro and nano materials, developed a metamaterial that had a negative refractive index for microwaves, proving that negative phase materials could exist at least in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Their requirements for this material were that both the relative permittivity, a measure of the charge separation in a material, and the relative permeability, a measure of how electrons loop in materials, of a substance must be less than zero.
Vicki Fong | EurekAlert!
Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Seeing the quantum future... literally
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