A new milestone in physics and engineering has been achieved by a mixed team of researchers from the US, whose work showcases the first demonstration of topological order that relies on time modulations, a new technique that has the potential to alter future experiments on a large scale.
With the help of this new method, researchers can propagate sound waves along the edges of topological metamaterials without the need to worry about the risk of sound waves coming back or being influenced in some manner by material defects.
It is already thought that the new information will allow researchers to construct superior devices that will be lighter, will work for a longer time, and could be deployed in environments that have been deemed to be too harsh or difficult in the past, opening new opportunities for upcoming studies.
Topology is a scientific field that explores the properties of objects which do not seem to be affected or influenced by continuous deformation. For example, a topological insulator would allow currents to flow through the boundaries of the object, with the flow moving without being affected by the imperfections of the object.
The new experiment has managed to prove that time-reversal symmetry breaking can be used to induce topological order in a manner that is as efficient if not superior to the employment of geometrical asymmetries for the same purpose, especially when topological acoustics are involved.
In the case of previous scientific work, the use of a backward channel that could be reflected sound was mandatory, a requirement that limited topological protection. A great trait of the new design is represented by the fact that it favors mods and programmability, maintaining the quality of sound waves as they travel through reconfigurable paths.
More data about specific aspects of the discovery can be found in a study that was published in a scientific journal.