The device, which works at microwave frequencies, may soon be extended to trap visible light, leading to an entirely new way of harvesting solar energy to generate electricity.
A theoretical design for a table-top black hole to trap light was proposed in a paper published earlier this year by Evgenii Narimanov and Alexander Kildishev of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Their idea was to mimic the properties of a cosmological black hole, whose intense gravity bends the surrounding space-time, causing any nearby matter or radiation to follow the warped space-time and spiral inwards.
Now Tie Jun Cui and Qiang Cheng at the Southeast University in Nanjing, China, have turned Narimanov and Kildishev's theory into practice, and built a "black hole" for microwave frequencies. It is made of 60 annular strips of so-called "meta-materials", which have previously been used to make invisibility cloaks.
You can hit the link to read how the black hole actually works, but that's not what's important. What's important is that it DOES work, and we're all doomed. And here I thought my stomach was the only black hole on earth. Don't believe me? Somebody toss a cheeseburger in the air. Did you see that? Works for hot dogs too. Haha, nice try buddy -- you keep those pants zipped.
First black hole for light created on Earth [newscientist]
Thanks to Equalizer and Chris, who have both lost spaceships to black holes before.