Korean researchers have developed a metamaterial that can cloak water and wind flows to increase the speeds of vehicles such as airplanes and ships.
The National Research Foundation of Korea announced on Aug. 18 that Song Young-seok, a professor at Dankook University and Yoon Jae-yun, a professor at Seoul National University, have jointly developed a new hydrodynamic metamaterial.
Metamaterials often refer to artificial materials that direct and control the propagation and transmission of specified parts of the light spectrum to render an object seemingly invisible.
Professor Song's team extended the concept of a metamaterial and applied it to hydrodynamics. Compressing coordinate spaces around a specific space will make the space in the middle empty and a fluid will move in the same flow even if it encounters an obstacle. Objects placed in such an empty space are not subject to flowing drag force and can move without resistance as if they were moving in vacuum.
Therefore, the metamaterial is expected to reduce fuel consumption and noise caused by fluid friction and move at higher speed than before if it is applied to airplanes, missiles and submarines among others. “If a building area that needs protection is covered with metamaterials, it will help prevent disasters,” professor Song said. The results of the study were published in the Aug. 13 edition of the International Journal of Physical Review Letters.