The University of Southampton

Metamaterials at the Big Bang Fair

Published: 22 March 2013

Southampton researchers have been introducing school children of all ages, as well as teachers and parents, to their cutting edge research in the area of photonic metamaterials at the national Big Bang Fair.

Over four days, João Valente, Jianfa Zhang, Tapashree Roy and Eric Plum from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have been sharing their excitement about novel artificial materials and science in general with hundreds of children, who had the opportunity to see real research samples, speak to real scientists and to take a metamaterials quiz.

As part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Advanced Materials exhibit at the Big Bang Fair in London, Southampton's metamaterials research shared the spotlight with work on graphene and gallium nitride (presented by colleagues from the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge).

Metamaterials research has grown rapidly in the past decade and is seen as an enabling technology of the future. Southampton's Centre for Photonic Metamaterials is supported by the EPSRC and is at the forefront of this development. Research Manager Dr Kevin MacDonald said: "With the control and application of light central to so many current and emerging technologies, metamaterials providing optical properties beyond those of natural media will have a broad impact in the 21st century. The Big Bang Fair has been a fantastic opportunity to engage with the next generation of scientists and engineers."

For an overview of metamaterials research in Southampton go to

For more information on the Big Bang Fair go to

The University of Southampton is hosting the Big Bang Fair Solent on March 21. For more information go to

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