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Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed a way to manipulate light with a “synthetic” Lorentz force — which is responsible in nature for a number of phenomena such as the aurora borealis.
The technique allows the researchers to create tunable artificial magnetic fields, enabling photons to mimic the dynamics of charged particles in real magnetic fields. The research may have implications for future photonic devices, as it provides a novel way of manipulating light below the diffraction limit.
Straining a honeycomb metasurface generates an artificial magnetic field for light that can be tuned by embedding the metasurface inside a cavity waveguide. Courtesy of the University of Exeter.