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Devices that control the direction of scattered light would be useful to steer signals in nanophotonic circuits. It was proposed in the 1980s that such directional behavior could be achieved through the so-called Kerker effect, in which light is scattered by particles that have comparable magnetic and electric susceptibilities. However, materials with the required magnetic properties do not exist in nature. Now, Alexander Poshakinskiy of the Ioffe Institute in Russia and Alexander Poddubny of the Australian National University have shown that a similar effect can be achieved if the scattering particles “tremble.”

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Category: Science