World's first magnetic "wormhole" produces magnetic monopole
It may not instantly whisk you to far-flungreaches of the universe like the gravitational wormholes of Stargate, Star Trekand Interstellar, but researchers at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona(UAB) claim to have created the first experimental wormhole that links tworegions of space magnetically.
Using metamaterials and metasurfaces, the scientistsfor UAB's Department of Physics created a sphere that from the outside ismagnetically undetectable. The sphere consisted of an external layer with aferromagnetic surface and an inner layer made of a superconducting material,while crossing it from one side to the other and forming a tunnel was acylinder made of a rolled ferromagnetic sheet.
Using this arrangement, the magnetic field from amagnet or an electromagnet at one end of the tunnel passes through the "wormhole" undetected and appears at the other end in the form of an isolatedmagnetic monopole, which is something that does not exist in nature.
The research follows on from previous work by the sameteam in 2014 when they built a magnetic fiber capable of transporting amagnetic field from one end to the other. However, the fiber was detectablemagnetically whereas the wormhole is a three-dimensional device that isundetectable by any magnetic field.
Although it isn't in quite the same league as connectingtwo points in spacetime, and the device only creates the illusion of a magnetic field propagating through a tunnel outside the 3D space, the researchers say the technology could have applications in fields where magnetic fields are used,such as medicine. For example, the team suggests the technology could make ispossible to take MRI scans of different parts of the body simultaneously, ormake such scans more comfortable for patients by distancing them from thedetectors.
The team's study was published in the journalScientific Reports.