Physics

Heat in Hiding?

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  13 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6078, pp. 132
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6078.132-b

Control over the propagation of electromagnetic radiation has been revolutionized by the discovery and development of transformation optics. Theoretical and experimental work has shown that the coordinate system of Maxwell's equations that governs how light propagates through a material can be manipulated at will by the careful design of metamaterial structures—giving rise to invisibility cloaks and perfect lenses. Guenneau et al. now show that such transformation principles could also be applicable to heat, whereby the coordinate system of the diffusion equation can be manipulated to control the flow of heat through a particular region. Numerical simulations support the design of fairly simple structures that may function as thermal cloaks or thermal concentrators. If realized, such structures could find use in thermal management systems for microelectronic circuits or stealth applications where hot objects can be hidden from view.

Opt. Express 20, 8207 (2012).

Navigate This Article