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Negative Refractivity for Optical Computing 125

Posted by michael
from the making-the-impossible-possible dept.
zero_offset writes "This article in EE Times details Purdue's efforts to create a material with negative refractivity. One of the important results would be the ability to create optical computers due to the effect's tendency to amplify and focus light at wavelengths larger than the thickness of the nanowires used in the transmission system. Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Vladimir Shalaev says, "Using these plasmonic nanomaterials, we hope to directly manipulate light, guide it around corners with no losses and basically do all the fundamental operations we do with electronic circuits today, but with photons instead." Nanowires, surface plasmon polaritons, optical computers, nanoscale metamaterials, unnatural refractivity -- what's not to like?" We did a story on the first material known to have a negative index of refraction last year.
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Negative Refractivity for Optical Computing

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  • by dollargonzo (519030) on Wednesday August 28, 2002 @08:34AM (#4155744) Homepage
    wouldn't that mean you would have to FORCE electrons through the material? that seems like a bad consequence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2002 @08:37AM (#4155750)
    It doesn't mean the velocity is faster than 'c'. It only means the light beam is deflected towards the opposite direction ( angle of refraction > 90 deg )
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2002 @08:47AM (#4155803)
    Didn't we have a story [slashdot.org] about how skeptical [physicsweb.org] scientists were about these results.
  • by phorm (591458) on Wednesday August 28, 2002 @10:32AM (#4156561) Journal
    If they can fiddle with light and directly manipulate it, does this mean they could possibly simulate some form of "invisibility". E.g. bending light completely around an object, so that the object no longer refracts light itself, but is essentially hidden within a sphere of redirected light?

    I suppose the current theory applies only to light within some conduit of sorts, like fibre optics, but it would be cool if it had other such uses


    I'm not a physacists, so feel free to critisize, but it's just a thought... direct manipulation of light could be a powerful thing.

    -Quote-
    "Using these plasmonic nanomaterials, we hope to directly manipulate light, guide it around corners with no losses and basically do all the fundamental operations we do with electronic circuits today, but with photons instead," said Shalaev.
    -EndQuote-
  • Re:Stealth materials (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Morphine007 (207082) on Wednesday August 28, 2002 @11:03AM (#4156827)

    One interesting application of this might be zero reflectivity materials

    now how would that work anyway... if you painted a basketball with "zero reflectivity" paint, you would no longer see the ball, because no light would bounce from it to your eyes, but you would also not be able to see anything behind it... so what would you see.. .or perceive??

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