Materials’ light tricks may soon extend to doing math

Metamaterials could provide faster pattern recognition

By Gabriel Popkin, 13:10 PM January 9, 2014

Tiny structures that use light waves to perform ultrafast complex mathematical operations could be built from available materials, a new computer simulation suggests.

The study could soon lead to new metamaterials, human-made materials that manipulate light in surprising ways. In previous experiments, scientists have used metamaterials to create invisibility cloaks that bend light waves around objects (SN 8/27/11, p. 16). Nader Engheta, an electrical engineer at the University of Pennsylvania ...

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