Cornering the Terahertz Gap

Controlling light’s path could enable invisibility or harness an intriguing but so far elusive stretch of the spectrum

By Ashley Yeager, 10:23 AM March 12, 2009

Light is a nimble gymnast. It travels in many colors and frequencies. Its waves, whether long or short, can shift to be longer or shorter. Light waves change direction. They bounce.

What light can’t do, on its own at least, is bend backward. In other words, it always refracts or reflects in a predictable, normal direction.

Scientists seeking to make light waves do such unnatural gymnastics have failed to find any natural material that does the job. But in recent years, physicists and engineers ...

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