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University of Edinburgh’s Dr. Tom Mackay and his colleagues from Pennsylvania State University made the discovery by analyzing how light interacts with certain naturally occurring or man-made crystals.

The researchers found that Dyakonov-Voigt surface waves are produced at a specific region — known as an interface — where the crystals meet another material, such as oil or water.

Named after two leading scientists, these waves can be produced only using certain types of crystal whose optical properties depend on the direction in which light passes through them.

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Category: Science