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Chinese scientists create mini 'black hole'


June 4, 2010

The microwave-trapping omnidirectional electromagnetic absorber

The microwave-trapping omnidirectional electromagnetic absorber

Researchers at Southeast University in Nanjing, China have created a device that traps and absorbs electromagnetic waves coming from all directions, spiraling them inwards without any reflections, essentially creating an electromagnetic black hole. Qiang Cheng and Tie Jun Cui’s “omnidirectional electromagnetic absorber” draws in microwaves coming from any direction by spiraling radiation inwards, and converting its energy into heat. They plan on developing a device that can absorb visible light next.

Working in the university’s State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Cheng and Cui built their device from 60 strips of circuit board, arranged in concentric layers and coated in metamaterials. The spiraling effect was created by using non-microwave-resonant metamaterials on the outer layer, while using resonant ones in the inner core. Obviously, there was a little more to it than that, but the end result was a gizmo that absorbed 99 percent of incoming microwave radiation.

Besides Lex Luthor and company, who might be interested in such technology? Since the lossy core of the device can transfer the electromagnetic energies into heat energies, the scientist expect that the omnidirectional absorber could have applications in thermal emission and electromagnetic-wave harvesting, perhaps finding its way into electronic devices, imaging systems, or heating and cooling systems.

The research was published in the New Journal of Physics.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

wasn\'t there an idea to to put solar panels in space and send the energy via microwaves to earth? this could be an easy way to capture those waves.

David Anderton

Not Daisy Cutter worthy. CERN on the other hand really needs an intimate relationship with a Daisy Cutter... with several of them in fact.

James McClellan

Calling this a black hole is probably over-stating it somewhat. It says that the microwaves are absorbed and re-radiated as heat, this sounds more like a good blackbody radiator. A black hole absorbs the energy pretty much full-stop. The only thing that it emits is Hawking radiation.


This can Be the scariest Ultimate Stealth Technology where heat can be used to generate electricity or dissipiated !!!

jaison Sibley

I wonder if we could infer the existence of these \'black holes\' by their proximity to WiFi hotspots?


Talk About False Advertising! lol

T.A. Nasir

1 step ahead to open the star gate.This discovery will lead us to better understanding on quantum mechanic. While everyone searching for God Particle, Southeast University can do further research, this could be use to build tool.Create possibility to study deeper on both electron and positron.


I think I have one of those in my house....things go missing and I swear it\'s a blackhole to blame!


Any scientist fooling around with nature\'s deadliest instrument of death is not only foolish, but stupid.

We know absolutely nothing about black holes. We haven\'t even started scratching the surface. The chinese are trying to get ahead of us by experimenting without sufficient knowledge. They\'ll continue to experiment. They\'ll not only destroy themselves, but the whole planet earth and probably the whole solar system in the process.

I\'m moving to mars.


This has NOTHING to do with black holes whatsoever. Black holes work by having a VERY massive object in a small space, hence everything (including light) is so affected that it all clumps together. This works by absorbing the microwaves and turning them into heat, in a way such that in the center there is an area where microwaves cannot enter. It\'s a whole lot more like a sound proof room than a black hole. The journalism confusion might be due to the sensors showing a black spot in the middle, but if they inverted the colors on the sensors then it might have been called a white hole.


Didn\'t I see something VERY similar to this (actually PRECISELY like this, but smaller) come out of an American University a couple of years ago? Just another example of the Chinese stealing tech ideas and ignoring international patents with impunity.....It\'d be cool if it wasn\'t plagiarised and I hadn\'t seen it before.

Vincent Najger

Why is it when ever a Chinese invention comes out everyone seems to be saying bad things about it? This thing have nothing to do with a black hole while the publisher misleadingly said that it's a mini black hole and thats pretty much the whole problem and I see people insulting Chinese people for it. And no Vincent Najger it was not the same technology and if you wants to say about stealing technology Chinese were the first to invent the compass, mechanical clocks, printing and gunpowder I don't see anyone making these items today paying China any copyright fees.

Horace Huayu Nie
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