Tag Archives: electromagnetic

‘Life as Research Scientist’: Romain Fleury, Engineer

Due to deep passion for physics, Romain Fleury, after completion of his engineering diploma in France, joined the research group of Prof. Andrea Alù at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D degree. His research focuses on metamaterials, a new branch of science and technology that is making its way to maturity. To know and understand details about it and further more, let’s join our latest round of Q&A with the young and aspiring scientist – Mr. Romain Fleury:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Romain Fleury: I am involved in cross-disciplinary research in the general area of wave physics and engineering. This includes electromagnetic and acoustic waves, but also other types of waves such as matter waves (the probability amplitude wave associated with a quantum particle). To be more specific, my current research mainly focuses on metamaterials, which are artificial materials that are structured and engineered to interact with waves in anomalous ways, and enable exotic physical phenomena that cannot be obtained with natural materials. For example, unlike naturally occurring materials, the refractive index of some metamaterials can take very extreme values, like zero, extremely large, or even negative. Of course, metamaterials are made of natural materials, with common properties, but it is the way we mix and structure these natural building blocks that give metamaterials their new, superior properties. Metamaterials have spectacular applications, like invisibility. Part of my research is focused on studying the potentials of metamaterials for cloaking applications. (more…)

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How did a third radiation belt appear in the Earth’s upper atmosphere?

Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts in in the Earth’s upper atmosphere in 1958, space scientists have believed that these belts consisted of two doughnut-shaped rings of highly charged particles — an inner ring of high-energy electrons and energetic positive ions, and an outer ring of high-energy electrons.

However, in February of this year, a team of scientists reported in the journal Science the surprising discovery of a previously unknown third radiation ring. This narrow ring had briefly circled the Earth between the inner and outer rings in September 2012 and then almost completely disappeared.

How did this temporary radiation belt appear and dissipate? (more…)

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Exeter Physicist Bends Light Waves on Surfboards

A University of Exeter scientist is bringing together his passions for Physics and surfing with research that could inspire a host of new technologies. Dr Matt Lockyear is using foam from inside surfboards to make materials that can manipulate light.

Scientists across the globe are trying to develop materials that can refract light to create ‘invisibility cloaks’, which are of particular interest to the aerospace industry. ‘Invisibility cloaking’ means building properties into a material that allow the device to guide light waves around an object, making it invisible.

Dr Matt Lockyear grew up in Exeter and completed his undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Exeter as a mature student. He returned for his PhD after working as an engineering manager at BNFL Sellafield, and now works as a Research Fellow in the Electromagnetic and Acoustic Materials Group in Physics. His research focuses on metamaterials: materials that consist of specifically engineered ‘pseudo-atoms’ to provide bulk material or interface properties that are not found in nature. (more…)

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