Exeter physicist bends light waves on surfboards

30thJul 2012

A University of Exeter scientist is bringing together his passions for Physics and surfing with research that could inspire a host of new technologies. Dr Matt Lockyear is using foam from inside surfboards to make materials that can manipulate light.

Scientists across the globe are trying to develop materials that can refract light to create ‘invisibility cloaks’, which are of particular interest to the aerospace industry. ‘Invisibility cloaking’ means building properties into a material that allow the device to guide light waves around an object, making it invisible.

Dr Matt Lockyear grew up in Exeter and completed his undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Exeter as a mature student. He returned for his PhD after working as an engineering manager at BNFL Sellafield, and now works as a Research Fellow in the Electromagnetic and Acoustic Materials Group in Physics. His research focuses on metamaterials: materials that consist of specifically engineered ‘pseudo-atoms’ to provide bulk material or interface properties that are not found in nature.

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