“Wormholes” — Now Found in More Than Compost

flat, or masking a heat signature. Prat-Camps et al used metamaterials and metasurfaces to build a device outside of normal space to carry and hide a magnetic field.

The magnetic wormhole was created with three layers: a ferromagnetic sheet, made from materials that are unusually easy to make into strong magnets, was wound into a spiral, surrounded by a superconducting sphere, enclosed by a ferromagnetic metasurface similar to the ones used to manipulate light. Ferromagnetic materials are among the best at supporting a magnetic charge within themselves (highly permeable), while superconductors have low permeability.

via Nature
via Nature (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.

Each section was unsuccessful in masking the magnetic field on its own, but when combined as shown, the authors were unable to detect any magnetic activity between the fields on the outside of the sphere. Additionally, the magnetic field on the far end of the sphere is monomagnetic and attracts in only one direction, something that does not happen in nature.

This magnetic wormhole isn’t just a fun bit of science fiction come to life. Prat-Camps et al suggest that it has the potential to change medicine. The magnetic fields projected through it could eventually allow doctors to perform simultaneous MRIs on a patient since the magnetic fields used in the imaging would not intersect. The authors also believe magnetic wormholes could be used in engines or electric energy generators. As research continues, scientists and researchers may find more practical applications.


Featured image via Flickr user Dennis van Zuijlekom

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