The race to build an exotic material with a negative refractive index for visible light has been won by a team of researchers in Germany. The demonstration could open the door to a new generation of optical devices such as superlenses able to see details finer then the wavelength of visible light.No more asking "Honey, does this make me look fat". Just put on a dress that hides love handles. SWEET!
It may also lead to further breakthroughs in "invisibility cloaks" which could hide objects from the human eye.
Light waves consist of alternating electric and magnetic fields that interact with materials as they travel, or propagate. This interaction determines a property of the material called its refractive index, which is a measure of the behaviour of light as it passes through the material. The refractive index describes the way the light waves bend when they enter and leave the material and the speed at which they propagate.
Monday, December 18, 2006