A new type of crystal was created with the ability to bend light like a black hole would, causing it to drift away from its usual straight path. The manipulation of the behavior of light was carried out using a phenomenon known as 'pseudogravity'.

One of the observational tests of general relativity was the ability of light to bend its path in the presence of mass. This effect is crucial to various physical phenomena, such as black holes, gravitational lensing, and dark matter observations. However, since this effect is so tiny on human scales, it cannot be studied easily in the laboratory until the discovery of distorted photonic crystals.

Photonic crystals refer to materials with a periodic refractive index on nanometer scales. They occur naturally on objects such as opals and the wings of some butterfly species. These materials have been known since the 1800s, but it was not until the late 1980s that scientists could create simple photonic crystals.

In our modern times, scientists can make photonic crystal materials with particular properties, like customizing them to be sensitive to certain wavelengths of light. This breakthrough has allowed experts to focus on a type of material known as distorted photonic crystals.

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