GLOSSARY: Negative refraction
When light passes from one medium into another, it changes direction, or refracts, in a predictable way. (Put a finger in a glass of water and it appears to bend.) Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a way to make low-cost material that will bend light in the opposite direction, a concept known as negative refraction. The material is composed
of smooth, ultra-thin layers of custom-made glass arranged in a sandwich structure that manipulates the light.
What is the material good for? Researchers say that controlling negative refraction will permit the development of superlenses that magnify objects too small to see with a conventional optical microscope. – AH