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March 13 2013

Are we in the Metamaterial Age?


THE Stone Age; the Bronze Age; the Iron Age. Mastery over a new material has at times changed human society so radically as to be practically synonymous with whole swathes of our history.

Are those times over? Today, we rely more than ever on inventing, rather than discovering, new materials. Precision engineering on microscopic scales even lets us devise metamaterials that behave in ways that nature can't match like those that manipulate light to make much-celebrated "invisibility cloaks".

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