Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Metamaterials for heat

There's a really cool experiment described in a recent PRL and summarized here about creating a metamaterial for cloaking objects from heat flow.

What connections to metamaterials for light can be drawn? The transport of heat is governed by a diffusion equation, which is very different from the wave equation and Maxwell's equations for governing light transport.

However, the diffusion equation can apply to light transport in disordered materials (see Ishimaru or van Rossum and Nieuwenhuizen). Is there some way, then to cloak objects in randomly scattering media from light?

The trouble with this thought is that one would have to add structure to a random material, and the only way I can think of doing this would be to create large-scale structures from a material with small-scale disorder.