A known hitherto unknown type of light wave has been discovered by researchers based on the pioneering work of a 19th-century Scottish scientist.
Equations developed by the famous mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell helped to reveal how crystals can be manipulated to obtain a distinctive form of light wave. applications such as enhancing biosensors used to screen for blood samples or developing optical circuits that transfer data more efficiently.
Scientists and engineers at the University of Edinburgh and Pennsylvania State University have made the discovery by analyzing how light moves in the form of waves ̵
They found that the Deacon-Voight waves are produced in a specific region – known as the interface – where crystals meet with other material, such as oil or water. These waves can only be produced with the help of certain types of crystals whose optical properties depend on the direction in which light passes through them, the researchers said.
The team identifies the unique properties of waves using mathematical models that include embedded equations developed by James Clerk Maxwell. Since the mid-1800's, studies of how light interacts with crystals are based on the work of Maxwell, who studied in University of Edinburgh from the age of 16.
Deacon-Voight waves called by two leading scientists decrease as they move away from the interface – a process called decay – and travel in only one direction, the team found. Other species Surface waves break up faster and travel in multiple directions.
Dr. Tom Mackay of the University of Edinburgh School of Mathematics, who co-led the study, said: “The Deacon-Voight waves represent a step forward in our understanding of how light interacts with complex materials and offer opportunities for a number of technological advances. "
The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A .
Physicists Reveal the Topological Origin of Surface Electromagnetic Waves
Tom G. Mackay et al., Deacon-Veit surface waves, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (2019). Doi: 10.1098 / rspa.2019.0317
The 160-year-old famous scientist's theories help detect light waves (2019, September 3)
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