While browsing the website of the Institute of Physics (IOP), I found a couple of interesting stories I thought I'd let you all know about.
The first is that Chinese researchers have created an "electromagnetic absorbing device for microwave frequencies". It is made of a thin cylinder of 60 concentric rings of metamaterials, each of which is imprinted with alternating patterns, some of which resonate, and some of which do not. Its importance is that it is able to absorb microwave radiation, acting as an "electromagnetic black hole", which has led to comparisons with black holes in space, which absorb matter and light.
Qiang Cheng and Tie Jun Cui, the designers and creators, state that:
"Since the lossy core can transfer electromagnetic energies into heat energies, we expect that the proposed device could find important applications in thermal emmitting and electromagnetic-wave harvesting."
The second thing I saw was that UK researchers found that the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption seemed to contain "a significant and self-renewing electrical charge". Measurements from the weather balloon sent up into the skies in Scotland led scientists to conclude that:
"Neither energy from the volcanic source - more than 1200 kilometers away - nor weather conditions could have been responsibe for the position of the charge found."
These findings could have profound consequences in predictions relating to the effects of volcanic plumes on aircraft.
All information comes from the IOP website, no copyright infringement intended. Please check out the IOP website for more interesting stuff.