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Scientists from the University of Missouri developed a new form of metamaterial based on the method of a 4D synthetic dimension.

Although we as humans mainly experience life in three dimensions, scientists recently began investigating the prospects of a “fourth dimension”, or synthetic dimension, which is our perspective beyond our physical world.

The scientists claim in a statement that this material can control energy waves on the surface of a solid substance. These energy waves, also known as mechanical surface waves, could aid in determining how vibrations propagate through a solid surface material.

Guoliang Huang, co-author of this study from the university said in an official release: “Conventional materials are limited to only three dimensions with an X, Y, and Z axis, but now we are building materials in the synthetic dimension, or 4D, which allows us to manipulate the energy wave path to go exactly where we want it to go as it travels from one corner of a material to another.”

According to Interesting Engineering, this new metamaterial was developed using a field of mathematics known as topology, which is concerned with examining shapes and their arrangement in space. This research, published in the journal ‘Science Advances’, used the topological pumping effect, which according to the study, “allows waves to navigate a sample undisturbed by disorders and defects.”

Topological pumping has the potential to enhance quantum mechanics and quantum computing by enabling the creation of higher-dimension quantum-mechanical phenomena.

Furthermore, it can also be utilized to develop technical solutions for earthquake-resistant structures. “Most of the energy — 90 percent — from an earthquake happens along the surface of the Earth. Therefore, by covering a pillow-like structure in this material and placing it on the Earth’s surface underneath a building, it could potentially help keep the structure from collapsing during an earthquake,” explains Huang.

This information was provided by Interesting Engineering.