We live in a world of waves. The radio waves hitting your car’s antenna and the light coming in through its windshield, the X-rays that can detect a tumor and the gamma radiation that can destroy it are all different facets of the same phenomenon: electromagnetism. As one of the fundamental forces of nature, its imprint can be felt on almost everything in the universe.
The difference between these waves that permeate the everyday aspects of our lives is where they fall on the electromagnetic spectrum, or how long it takes for each of these waves to crest, fall, and repeat. The waves carrying a radio broadcast might be a meter long, for example—long enough to swerve around obstacles on their way to your receiver. The light waves that are coming from the screen and into your eyes are a million times smaller than that, and radioactive gamma waves are a million times smaller still.
Mastering the movement of these waves is at the heart of much of modern technology, and at Penn, no one does that quite like Nader Engheta.
Video by Kurtis Sensenig, University Communications