Metamaterials, which bend light in unusual ways, are being used to create a variation on the analog computer capable of performing mathematical functions, according to a study in the journal Science. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have simulated a metamaterial that can perform calculus and other fundamental mathematical functions by modifying a light wave's profile. "As the wave goes through this block, its profile changes such that by the time it comes out, it has the profile expected from the given mathematical operation," said Nader Engheta, one of the researchers.

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