Kazuhiro Tanimoto

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Light-bending material    
A review committee recommended work of the 21st Japan Media Arts Festival (web)

A work product of a research project to develop materials that bend light. By nature, light travels in a straight line because it has no interaction with gravity or electromagnetic forces. It is also known that under certain conditions, light can change its path in a straight line, such as reflection or refraction. The author has succeeded in developing a transparent solid material that changes the path of light in a curvilinear manner by using a chemical method that he has been studying independently. In this work, by controlling the angle of the laser beam with a motor and microcomputer, we can observe how the light changes from a straight line to a curve in the material. Blue, green, and red are the three lights that make up all colors, and it shows that they all become curved. This material is able to bend light just by existing without any external energy input. To see an object is to see the light scattered, reflected, or emitted by the object. The human brain recognizes that an object is there based on the assumption that light travels in a straight line. If we can bend the light, we can create a point in space where the light does not pass through. In other words, the destination of this research to break down the straightness of light is a world where we cannot see objects that should be there, or we can see objects that should not be there, and this work suggests that physical facts and human perception will continue to diverge due to the advancement of technology.

(c) Kazuhiro Tanimoto