How to turn a narrow slit into a large window

Narrow slit

How do you turn a narrow slit into a large window? Fill it with a metamaterial that captures and transmits as much light as the bigger window. At least, that’s what Xiaohe Zhang and colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China tell us.

Metamaterials are substances constructed in a way that gives them exotic bulk properties that aren’t otherwise found in nature, such as the ability to manipulate electromagnetic radiation in unheard of ways. Much of the publicity about metamaterials has revolved around their potential ability to form invisibility cloaks that can hide an object from view. But less well known are a menagery of designs that do other strange things such as rotate the appearance of a cloaked object.

Now Xiaohe Zhang and pals have weighed in with yet another design: a material “that can transmit the information outside a domain through a small slit, with the transmittance identical to the one of a big window”. In other word, they’ve designed a small window with the same transparency as a larger one, albeit one that works in the microwave region of the spetrum

But why on Earth would you want one of these? It’s one of those things that has a useful smell about it but the team don’t mention any applications their paper so I’m kinda stumped.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0805.3039: Transformation Media that Turn a Narrow Slit into a Large Window

4 Responses to “How to turn a narrow slit into a large window”

  1. jim shillliday says:

    Why would you want one? Snooping comes to mind, as do pencil-sized doppler radar units.

  2. This is a gratuitous post suggesting a critical evaluation of an E8 Theory of Everything at http://www.theoryofeverything.org

    Check out the e8Flyer.nbp – a free Mathematica Notebook player file that allows you to navigate the intracasies of E8 and fundamental particle physics.

    greg

  3. C Buckley says:

    Well, if you were to combine this with fiber optics and/or solar cells, what would the affect be?

    Say you had a roof on a building that has an array of these windows that connects to fibercables, you should be able to pipe natural lighting throughout a building.

    And, these look a lot like solar concentrators. Put a layer of these over solar cells and you should be able to boost voltages.

  4. Zion Dan says:

    One may use this kind of transformation media to replace the conventional window
    to improve the stability of building.

    Another interesting application would be in a plane. One may see people flying in the sky if the stability of the plane is good enough.