Engineers demonstrate metamaterials that can solve equations #Engineering #Computation #Materials @physorg_com
Via Phys.org – University of Pennsylvania Engineers have designed a metamaterial device that can solve integral equations. The device works by encoding parameters into the properties of an incoming electromagnetic wave; once inside, the device’s unique structure manipulates the wave in such a way that it exits encoded with the solution to a pre-set integral equation for that arbitrary input.
In a paper recently published in Science, Nader Engheta of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and his team have demonstrated such a device for the first time.
Their proof-of-concept experiment was conducted with microwaves, as their long wavelengths allowed for an easier-to-construct macro-scale device. The principles behind their findings, however, can be scaled down to light waves, eventually fitting onto a microchip.
Such metamaterial devices would function as analog computers that operate with light, rather than electricity. They could solve integral equations—ubiquitous problems in every branch of science and engineering — orders of magnitude faster than their digital counterparts, while using less power.
And how it works:
“Our device contains a block of dielectric material that has a very specific distribution of air holes,” Engheta says. “Our team likes to call it ‘Swiss cheese.'”
The Swiss cheese material is a kind of polystyrene plastic; its intricate shape is carved by a CNC milling machine.
“Controlling the interactions of electromagnetic waves with this Swiss cheese metastructure is the key to solving the equation,” Estakhri says. “Once the system is properly assembled, what you get out of the system is the solution to an integral equation.”
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.