A Russian engineer Victor Veselago had theorised a lens made out of material with a negative refractive index. In 1999, John Pendry checked whether such a lens could be perfect, expecting the usual answer – that it wasn’t perfect. Pendry didn’t get it; the theory said it was perfect. He was astonished and so was everybody else. The mechanism of a perfect lens is very strange.
The concept of metamaterials opened up the field. A metamaterial is a material whose electric and magnetic properties are determined as much by its structure as by its chemical composition, although the structure must be on a scale much smaller than the wavelength of light you’re using.
A perfect lens is very hard to realise in the lab. People have achieved sub-wavelength resolution that is more than 10 times as good as a normal lens, but it is far from being used as a microscope.
There is a halfway house that John Pendry’s research team in London are working on – a light harvester. It concentrates light on a very small area. Ordinarily the area you can shrink to will be limited by the wavelength of the light you are using, as an ordinary lens is. They are using metamaterials to concentrate light onto an area less than a square nanometer. Once you do that, you have the potential to make sensors for single molecules.
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Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com
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He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
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