Artificial black holes made with metamaterials

Nov 16, 2010

While our direct knowledge of black holes in the universe is limited to what we can observe from thousands or millions of light years away, a team of Chinese physicists has proposed a simple way to design an artificial electromagnetic (EM) black hole in the laboratory.

In the , Huanyang Chen at Soochow University and colleagues have presented a design of an artificial EM black hole designed using five types of composite isotropic materials, layered so that their transverse magnetic modes capture EM waves to which the object is subjected. The artificial EM black hole does not let EM waves escape, analogous to a black hole trapping light. In this case, the trapped EM waves are in the microwave region of the spectrum.

The so-called metamaterials used in the experiment are artificially engineered materials designed to have unusual properties not seen in nature. have also been used in studies of invisibility cloaking and negative-refraction superlenses. The group suggests the same method might be adaptable to higher frequencies, even those of visible light.

"Development of artificial would enable us to measure how is absorbed when passing through them," says Chen. "They can also be applied to harvesting light in a solar-cell system."

Explore further: By measuring infrared emissivity, work is being done to improve the features of solar thermal collectors

More information: The article, "A simple design of an artificial electromagnetic black hole" by Wanli Lu, JunFeng Jin, Zhifang Lin, and Huanyang Chen appears in the Journal of Applied Physics. See: link.aip.org/link/japiau/v108/i6/p064517/s1

Provided by American Institute of Physics

4 /5 (10 votes)

Related Stories

Chinese scientists create metamaterial black hole

Oct 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two physicists in China have used metamaterials to create the first artificial electromagnetic black hole. The scientists, Qiang Cheng and Tie Jun Cui from the Southeast University in Nanjing, ...

Scientists create artificial mini 'black hole'

Jun 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists from China have built a device that can trap and absorb microwaves coming from all directions with a 99% absorption rate - a property that makes the device simulate, to some extent, ...

How do supermassive black holes get so big?

Apr 26, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the center of most galaxies lie supermassive black holes that can grow to become more than a billion times larger than our Sun. However, astrophysicists don’t fully understand the formation ...

Supermassive black hole is thrown out of galaxy

May 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Undergraduate student Marianne Heida of the University of Utrecht has found what appears to be a supermassive black hole leaving its home galaxy at high speed. As part of an international ...

Imitation black hole seen on earth

Sep 30, 2010

Astrophysics deals mostly with things that are so distant -- thousands or billions of light years away -- that we can't ever hope to see them up close. But clever scientists can do the next best thing to making ...

Recommended for you

First in-situ images of void collapse in explosives

14 hours ago

While creating the first-ever images of explosives using an x-ray free electron laser in California, Los Alamos researchers and collaborators demonstrated a crucial diagnostic for studying how voids affect ...

New approach to form non-equilibrium structures

Jul 24, 2014

Although most natural and synthetic processes prefer to settle into equilibrium—a state of unchanging balance without potential or energy—it is within the realm of non-equilibrium conditions where new possibilities lie. ...

Nike krypton laser achieves spot in Guinness World Records

Jul 24, 2014

A set of experiments conducted on the Nike krypton fluoride (KrF) laser at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) nearly five years ago has, at long last, earned the coveted Guinness World Records title for achieving "Highest ...

User comments : 13

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nikola
5 / 5 (4) Nov 16, 2010
The headline is misleading.
panorama
5 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
The headline is misleading.

Aren't most of them when it comes to science reporting?
Sean_W
4 / 5 (5) Nov 16, 2010
How much of an improvement is this new "simple design" over previous methods of doing the same thing? Is there anything interesting that has been learned or observed since they first became able to make these black hole analogs? How much easier will it be for researchers who want to work with these apparatuses to do so?

Inquiring minds wouldn't mind knowing.
Ravenrant
not rated yet Nov 16, 2010
Amazing, since it says it's an EM black hole and that the EM waves don't get out, the energy must dissipate by magic.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2010
@Ravenrant,
the energy must dissipate by magic
... or by heat. Yes heat is EM-mediated, but its ensemble characteristics are very different from the original energy input into the device.
robbor
5 / 5 (1) Nov 17, 2010
uh-oh, they're making the first stargate
Ravenrant
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
@Ravenrant,
the energy must dissipate by magic
... or by heat. Yes heat is EM-mediated, but its ensemble characteristics are very different from the original energy input into the device.


I figured that much as I wanted to think it was magic but they didn't say that, it sounds so much more mysterious than something that converts EM to heat, soup in a microwave oven does that too.
nuge
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
I thought this happened several months ago, I definitely remember reading about this before.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Nov 17, 2010
soup in a microwave oven does that too
Well, one presumes that the black hole model in question is a bit more sophisticated. For instance, one would hope that it bends light around its "event horizon" just like a real black hole would. Maybe light can even orbit its "event horizon" in a semi-steady state. Or perhaps any light "falling into" it gets dramatically blue-shifted, whereas light emanating outward from just outside of its "event horizon", gets dramatically red-shifted. Or maybe any light that passes the "event horizon" has no chance of coming back out. Maybe it could even produce Hawking radiation in noticeable quantities, assuming its "event horizon" sports sufficient curvature, and is sufficiently sharply delineated in space. Stuff like that...
genastropsychicallst
1 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
Primair ledging blacker particles hole whiter premair, colors pro air art meta.
genastropsychicallst
1 / 5 (4) Nov 17, 2010
Mean, when nobody can touch fiction then it is not to lose science.
yks
1 / 5 (1) Nov 17, 2010
Can we build a "EM capacitor" with this (by feeding the artificial back hole from EM field) ?
ekim
not rated yet Nov 21, 2010
It would be interesting if a device like this could store all EM energy until some threshold was reached. Then any stored energy could be released in a single event.