Trio create artificial magnetic wormhole

August 21, 2015 by Bob Yirka report
(a) The field of a magnetic source (right) is appearing as an isolated magnetic monopole when passing through the magnetostatic wormhole; the whole spherical device is magnetically undetectable. (b) The wormhole is composed of (from left to right) an outer spherical ferromagnetic metasurface, a spherical superconducting layer, and an inner spirally wound ferromagnetic sheet. Credit: Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 12488 (2015) doi:10.1038/srep12488

(Phys.org)—A trio of physicists with the Autonomous University of Barcelona has built what they claim is the first artificial magnetic wormhole. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jordi Prat-Camps, Carles Navau and Alvaro Sanchez describe how they built the device and why they believe it might prove useful in building a more user-friendly MRI machine.

People have grown familiar with the term wormhole as it applies to physics and science-fiction. It has been described as a portal in space-time, where an object, or perhaps a person, could be transported from one region of space to another, nearly instantaneously. And while the theory has stood the test of time, no one has ever been able to prove that they actually exist. In this new effort, the researchers built a much simpler version, one that applies only to a . Their device essentially allows for a magnetic field to be conveyed from one point to another, while remaining magnetically invisible.

The device is a three layered —at its center they placed a magnetized metal tube. The tube was then surrounded by a sphere made of strips of a superconducting material (yttrium barium copper oxide)—it served to deflect incoming fields. Another sphere was then placed over the whole works to make the deflection of the inner sphere undetectable. To make the device work as intended it was put into a liquid nitrogen bath to bring the temperature inside the sphere down to the point where the yttrium barium copper oxide behaved as a superconductor. The end result was a device that made it appear that a magnetic field suddenly disappeared, then reappeared at another place.

The team tested their device by placing it in an that that they created and then placed magnetic probes at either end of the sphere. The first probe indicated the presence of a monopole-like field. The second probe was moved back and forth across the length of the sphere and indicated no magnetic field was present—temporarily removing either shell revealed that there was indeed a field inside the sphere.

Beyond its research value, the team believes that their device could serve as the basis for a new type of MRI machine, one that could relieve patients from having to sit inside of a big loud shell while their insides are examined.

Explore further: Louisiana Tech professor receives patent for electromagnetic technology

More information: A Magnetic Wormhole, Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 12488 (2015) DOI: 10.1038/srep12488

Abstract
Wormholes are fascinating cosmological objects that can connect two distant regions of the universe. Because of their intriguing nature, constructing a wormhole in a lab seems a formidable task. A theoretical proposal by Greenleaf et al. presented a strategy to build a wormhole for electromagnetic waves. Based on metamaterials, it could allow electromagnetic wave propagation between two points in space through an invisible tunnel. However, an actual realization has not been possible until now. Here we construct and experimentally demonstrate a magnetostatic wormhole. Using magnetic metamaterials and metasurfaces, our wormhole transfers the magnetic field from one point in space to another through a path that is magnetically undetectable. We experimentally show that the magnetic field from a source at one end of the wormhole appears at the other end as an isolated magnetic monopolar field, creating the illusion of a magnetic field propagating through a tunnel outside the 3D space. Practical applications of the results can be envisaged, including medical techniques based on magnetism.

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22 comments

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El_Nose
2.5 / 5 (6) Aug 21, 2015
awesome - and also probably the mathematics will help the first warp drive ;-) heres to science and science fiction
fmfbrestel
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 21, 2015
I wish they would go into the reasons that this would make MRI's less claustrophobic. The superconductors mean you cant get rid of any of that support equipment from the MRI, you still need one side of the sphere to be close to the patient... I don't understand where the benefits come from. -- Not doubting that there are benefits, I'm just not an MRI engineering expert and neither are most of the people that will read this article.

I do appreciate that they actually build a device instead of just a computer model though. Not that I think computer models are useless for making discoveries, but eventually you got to actually build something.
axemaster
not rated yet Aug 21, 2015
Ah! This is an interesting application for a device I like to call "magnetic squeezers" (don't know actual name ;D). Typically they're made from solid chunks of copper - any AC magnetic field can't penetrate through the material, so if you put two pieces of copper with a gap between them the magnetic field lines will squeeze together to get through the hole - creating a locally amplified field. It's basically used in the opposite configuration compared to ferromagnetic materials.

It's been a while since I've last seen a physical example of this, but I think they use them in particle accelerators and high field magnets? Does anyone know?
docile
Aug 21, 2015
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lewisvp
3 / 5 (2) Aug 21, 2015
okay now if this is true and you put a device inside with a timer and registered yes/no mag field over time , is this not a violation of causality and sending information (morse code in effect :) FTL ?
shavera
5 / 5 (7) Aug 21, 2015
lewisvp: no. It's not a real wormhole. It's just a way of transporting magnetic fields from one region to another with no 'leakage' into the surrounding space.
fay
1 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2015
if a material which deflects magnetic field exists why isnt it used to harvest energy from permanent magnets? The magnets attract themselves with force, then you switch off the field, put them away and switch the field on. And again they attract themselves with force which you harvest. Where is the fault in this thinking? Is the shielding material repelled from the magnet?
baudrunner
not rated yet Aug 21, 2015
This article stirs up memories of another from Dec 4, 2007 http://phys.org/n...law.html

Fascinating stuff..
docile
Aug 21, 2015
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Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Aug 21, 2015
Wow, an artificial magnetic monopole! Maybe we won't have to go looking for them after all. Among other things these could revolutionize fusion.
ogg_ogg
5 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2015
I've got an electric wormhole. It takes electrons from one place and transports them to another. I call it "wire".
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2015
I've got an electric wormhole. It takes electrons from one place and transports them to another. I call it "wire".

Pretty funny, ogg...:-)
However, doesn't your "wire wormhole" actually have electron loss and therefore technically not a real wormhole?
Actually, I think this experiment is more a method of transporting magnetism in a similar manner as electric wire "wormholes...
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2015

... and how to insulate, thereby minimizing magnetic field loss...
axemaster
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2015
Electrons aren't "lost" in wires.

His analogy was pretty much spot on.
bschott
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2015


Electrons aren't "lost" in wires.

His analogy was pretty much spot on.


No. Whydening Gyre is 100% correct.

https://en.wikipe...age_drop

OGG needs a superconductor for his analogy to spot on.
NoStrings
not rated yet Aug 24, 2015
It would be interesting to verify if this isn't just a well known vector magnetic potential effect.
I am just wondering on general principles, why magnetic field would feel inclined to 'jump' into that one shielded sphere? If they place a second, third, etc shielded sphere, and find that they detect magnetic field there also, it would pretty much disprove the wormhole hypothesis (or prove it if the result is opposite).
axemaster
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2015
Voltage drop isn't lost electrons. It's lost energy. These are totally different things.
bschott
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2015
Voltage drop isn't lost electrons. It's lost energy. These are totally different things.


Better read that link on voltage drop again, it is specifically referred to as energy lost three times in the link. What do you think a current is? Wire has an impedance value, there is none in a superconductor.
docile
Aug 24, 2015
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docile
Aug 24, 2015
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docile
Aug 24, 2015
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docile
Aug 24, 2015
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