News

Thursday, 29 March 2012
Professor David Smith and Professor Steve Cummer (an affiliate for the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics and a Faculty member of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University) both have articles appearing in a special cluster issue on metamaterials in 'Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters by IEEE'. D.R. Smith also served as a guest editor for the 2011 edition, which consists of over 30 papers devoted to metamaterials. The special cluster issue is a first for AWPL...
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Duke University Engineers believe that continued advances in creating ever-more exotic and sophisticated man-made materials will greatly improve their ability to control light at will. Abstract: Graded-index optics applications are currently limited by the fabrication process to small refractive index contrast or simple geometries. Metamaterials offer a control of the refractive index at the unit cell level, making possible the realization of devices with complex, three-dimensional, large...
Friday, 16 March 2012
Magnetostatic Surface Resonances Increase Levitation ForcesDuke University and Boston College by Tim Palucka Researchers led by Yaroslav Urzhumov at Duke University and Willie Padilla at Boston College have discovered the theoretical framework for increasing the magnetic levitation of metamaterials enhanced with magnetostatic surface resonances. The finding could increase the mass of objects that can be magnetically levitated by an order of magnitude without a concurrent increase in the...
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
The Journal of Optics handpicks articles each year including review articles, special issue articles and regular papers. Each article has received an excellent response from the Optics community, deemed highly commended by the journal board and has been highly downloaded throughout 2011. This year "Cross-section comparisons of cloaks designed by transformation optical and optical conformal mapping approaches" authored by: Yaroslav A Urzhumov, Nathan B Kundtz, David R Smith and John B Pendry was...
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Harry Potter and numerous sci-fi novels have glamorized the idea of a cloak of invisibility, but Duke engineering professor David R. Smith has come up with a blueprint for the real thing. His research on a prototype cloak was selected as one of the top-ten scientific breakthroughs of the year in 2006 by Science Magazine. In a live, "Office Hours" webcast interview February 23, 2012, Smith answers questions on the science of invisibility. Karl Bates, director of research communications at Duke...
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
The Center hosted a visit on January 13th, 2012 from General Martin Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Dempsey discussed metamaterials and their potential applications with Prof. Smith and his group, and received a brief tutorial as to how metamaterials are designed, fabricated and tested. Visiting researchers from the Army Research Office and the Naval Surface Warfare Center were also present during the visit, and provided their perspective on the relevance of...
Saturday, 13 August 2011
When a vehicle or a vessel moves through air or water at a steady speed, most of its fuel is spent on fighting the hydrodynamic resistance. This is because the vessel needs to push the fluid out of its way in order to move forward. The disturbance of the fluid caused by the vessel motion normally spans the distances greatly exceeding the size of the vessel; enormous amounts of energy are needed to displace the huge mass of fluid in that range. Using computer fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, we...
Saturday, 13 August 2011
For most materials, the light that enters is the same light that exits. It may reflect, refract, or attenuate, but it's still the same light. For highly intense light, however, certain 'nonlinear' materials violate this rule of thumb, converting the incoming energy into a brand new beam of light at twice the original frequency, called the second-harmonic. Normally, this frequency doubling process occurs over a distance of many wavelengths, and the direction in which the second-harmonic travels...
Thursday, 11 August 2011
By Richard Merritt DURHAM, N.C. – Duke engineers have already shown that they can "cloak" light and sound, making objects invisible -- now, they have demonstrated the theoretical ability to significantly increase the efficiency of ships by tricking the surrounding water into staying still. "Ships expend a great deal of energy pushing the water around them out of the way as they move forward," said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke's...
Monday, 7 February 2011
Professor Smith and the metamaterials lab will be featured on the upcoming NOVA program "Making Stuff," premiering February 9, 2011 on PBS. The episode, "Making Stuff Smarter," is hosted by New York Times technology reporter David Pogue (pictured) and explores a new generation of ingeneious materials. Featured among those materials: The Duke metamaterial "invisibility cloak." Read more
Monday, 20 December 2010
In the past decade, physicists and engineers pioneered new ways to guide and manipulate light, creating lenses that defy the fundamental limit on the resolution of an ordinary lens and even constructing "cloaks" that make an object invisible—sort of. The feats sprang from a roughly 50–50 mixture of a new technology and one oh-so-clever idea. The technology was "metamaterials": assemblages of little rods, rings, and wires that act like materials with bizarre optical properties. The idea was...
Monday, 6 December 2010
David Smith has been selected as a finalist in the World Technology Network's World Technology Awards, in the category of Materials: Individual. The awards are given to those who "...are doing the innovative work of 'the greatest likely long-term significance' in their fields. View the winners and finalists here.
Friday, 19 November 2010
The acoustic "sisters" of electromagnetic invisibility cloaks are long-sought devices that could defeat sonars. Unlike optical cloaks, such devices are not constrained by special relativity and could operate in a very wide frequency range. The existence of two types of acoustic waves in elastic media, however, makes acoustic cloaks difficult to build from solid materials. The paper by Yaroslav Urzhumov and co-workers, published recently in the New Journal of Physics (July 12, 2010), is the...
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility spans roughly one million wavelengths of the visible light. A metamaterial implementing it would need to have an attenuation constant of less than 1 dB/m. A paper by Urzhumov and Smith, published recently in the top physics journal, Physical Review Letters, suggests that this may be achievable with photonic crystals composed of optically transparent dielectric materials.This Letter was selected as a cover article for the October 15 issue of Phys. Rev. Lett.(...
Thursday, 11 November 2010
The Duke "invisibility cloak" will be featured on Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention, a new BBC series highlighting invention. Sir John Pendry is interviewed about the cloak on the episode "Come to Your Senses," which will air on BBC1 at 7:30 pm, November 24. More information can be found here.

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