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Electromagnetic Lego

November 6 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm UTC

When Smith, Pendry, and others started tinkering with split-ring resonators (SRR) for realizing double negative media, little did we know then that these earlier groundbreaking works ushered the beginning of a completely different perspective on designing of all types of electromagnetics-based systems. The SRR, or any other resonator that has dimensions much smaller than the wavelength were used as the building blocks for single and double negative media and even near-zero media. While these exotic media-enabled cloaking and the design of dispersion-controlled media, the applications were largely limited. The concept of a building block, however, might hold the key to a much larger class of designs and applications. Back in the seventeenth century, Huygens conceived the idea of elementary sources as forming the radiated or scattered field. His extraordinary perception of the mechanism of the wave phenomenon preceded the full-fledged development of Maxwell equations by more than 150 years. While Huygens work was an attempt to understand the wave phenomenon through analysis, we pose the question of whether we can extend the concept of building blocks or elementary sources to synthesize electromagnetics-based radiating systems. If all things in nature are composed of identical building blocks, can we conceive of similar construction of electromagnetics systems in general? In this talk, I will focus on the importance of understanding what is meant by metamaterial, metasurface particles, or electrically small resonators in general. Unlike building blocks used for other physical systems that are not founded on the action-at-a-distance phenomena, the electrically small resonators, or electromagnetic Legos are more intriguing as their strong coupling needs to be tailored to ensure their desired operation. Several new designs of electromagnetics systems from lenses to sensors and antennas will be discussed in detail covering a broad range of activities conducted in my research group at Waterloo. Focusing on the concept of a building block will naturally reignite strong interest in understanding the fundamental physical phenomenon of radiation and hopefully would lead to asking important questions that were considered of secondary importance in earlier times. Speaker(s): Prof. Omar M. Ramahi, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/286927