Nader Engheta’s Equation-Solving Metamaterial Featured on Podcast

Nader Engheta’s Equation-Solving Metamaterial Featured on Podcast

Nader Engheta looks on at his team’s metamaterial device. Its “Swiss cheese” pattern of plastic and air holes is precisely designed to represent part of a specific integral equation. (Photo: Eric Sucar)

By Lauren Salig

Nader Engheta, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, and lab members, Nasim Mohammadi Estakhri and Brian Edwards, have engineered a unique metamaterial that can solve complex equations using electromagnetic waves. When waves are sent through their specially designed material, they emerge encoded with the solution to a set problem.

Jack Tavener of The Naked Scientists, a collection of science podcasts and radio shows produced by the University of Cambridge, spoke with Engheta about how his metamaterial device works and its potential applications. Engheta appeared on the In Short podcast, which summarizes intriguing science stories:

“Ever wondered how to get the best wifi reception in your house, given all those floors and walls which can interrupt the signal? Where to position the router and signal boosters, then where people should use their devices to get the best reception? There are so many combinations, making it labour-intensive to move things around and try all the different positions! But complex scenarios like this can be modelled by mathematical equations.”

Listen to the podcast, and read Tavener’s article about the research, at The Naked Scientists.