Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
- November 25-30, 2012
- Boston, Massachusetts
Chennupati Jagadish, Thomas Lippert, Amit Misra, Eric Stach, Ting Xu
Sir John Pendry
Sunday, November 25
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sheraton Boston Hotel, 2nd Floor, Grand Ballroom
Sir John Pendry
Imperial College London (view biography)
Talk Presentation: Emphasizing the Negative
This event was recorded and is available for viewing at MRS OnDemand.
The Kavli Foundation supports scientific research, honors scientific
achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their
work. Its particular focuses are astrophysics, nanoscience, and
neuroscience. For more information about the Foundation, visit their website at http://www.kavlifoundation.org/.
Sir John Pendry is a condensed-matter theorist. He has worked at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, since 1981. He began his career in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, followed by six years at the Daresbury Laboratory where he headed the Theoretical Group. His most recent work has been in the field of metamaterials and negative refraction. In collaboration with a team of scientists at Duke University, he has developed the concept of "transformation optics," which prescribes how electromagnetic lines of force can be manipulated at will. This enabled a proposed recipe for a cloak that can hide an arbitrary object from electromagnetic fields, and also has many applications at optical frequencies to the study of plasmonic systems.
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Nanoscience presents optics with a problem: We cannot see objects smaller than the wavelength using conventional optics. However, metals have an unusual property that allows us to get around this problem. When the electric field of a light beam pushes in one direction, the electrons in the metal move in the opposite direction giving a negative value to the permittivity. This gives rise to the phenomenon of surface plasmons; excitations on the metal surface that can be excited by light. This talk will discuss how light can be focused into length scales much smaller than the wavelength and explore the ultimate limits imposed by the metal. It turns out that a beam of light can be concentrated into less than a nanometer leading to intense interactions between the energy of the light and individual atoms and molecules.