An entirely new class of substance with all kinds of exotic properties, metamaterials are being groomed as the the building blocks of a new age of super lenses, agile antennae and invisibility cloaks.
Until recently, though, all the focus had been on the way metamaterials can modify light.
Also used to keeped someone on MSN busy (if you don't like talking to them).
A robotic pole dancer with a CCTV camera for a head is set to put on an interesting display for visitors to an international sex show this week.
That might involve heat, acidity, pressure, magnetic or electric fields, or moving parts.
An acoustic version of this stuff would do the same for sound as it does for light: lenses, invisibility, and all. Metamaterials were first dreamed up by the Russian physicist Victor Veselago, who imagined how a material might behave if its permittivity and permeability - factors that determine how a substance interacts with electric and magnetic fields - were both negative.In a tribotronic system, say the word's creators, sensors monitor conditions where moving surfaces meet.Electronics calculate how the lubricant could perform better, and make changes to achieve that.Yigun Ding and colleages' big discovery is how to make the two key numbers both negative at the same time, at the same frequency.Previously, only one aspect at a time has been made negative.
In a bizarre video, the robot can be seen gyrating its metal hips to music provided by a robot DJ, with a lamp for a head.