Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Toy Multiverse Created in a Laboratory, Say Physicists

First Toy Multiverse Created in a Laboratory, Say Physicists: Cobalt is ferromagnetic so the nanoparticles tend to become aligned in a magnetic field. In fact, if the density of nanoparticles is high enough, the field causes them to line up in columns. When this happens, the nanocolumns form a metamaterial which is mathematically equivalent to a 2+1 Minkowski spacetime...

The secret here is to keep the density of nanoparticles just below the threshold required to form nanocolums. That’s just over 8 per cent of the fluid by volume in this case. When that happens, natural variations in the density cause nanocolumns to form in small regions of the liquid. In effect, tiny universes are leaping in and out of existence. Smolyaninov and co can even “see” these universes by their effect on polarised light passing through the fluid.

That’s a fascinating result that demonstrates the potential of self-organisation to create metamaterials.

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