Physics: scarab beetles will help to speed up the Internet a few times

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polarisavenue revealed the secret of the Golden color of scarabsPhysics: scarab beetles will help to speed up the Internet a few times© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina

. Brilliant Golden scarab beetles acquired such unusual coloration due to the presence of specific nanostructures in their elytra, which can reflect the light, «spun» in any direction. Their synthetic counterparts will help to create ultrafast data transmission system, according to an article published in the journal Royal Society Interface.

«A brilliant gold color and an unusual polarization of light reflected from the shell, making the Golden scarabs are really unique creatures compared to thousands of other beautiful insects and animals of the planet. These bugs can serve as an example for the development of new optical systems, which we previously might not have thought of,» says Pete Vukusic (Pete Vukusic) from the University of Exeter (UK).

In recent years, scientists are actively studying the properties of so-called metamaterials – artificial structures from many individual pieces or nanoparticles, capable of an unusual way to interact with light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Metamaterials, physics today believe will form the basis of ultrafast light of future computers and other futuristic gadgets.

Strictly speaking, metamaterials are not a human invention – like them crystals and structures found on the wings of many butterflies have metallic coloring, the shells of many other insects, the wings of birds and even the famous blue folds on faces of baboons-the mandrill.

Vukusic and his colleagues discovered, is the most unusual example of natural metamaterial, studying the structure of the wings of beetles Chrysina resplendens – South American scarabs, whose wings and the carapace is painted in bright gold color. Today, these beetles are very popular among collectors, who are attracted by the unusual color data of insects and their large sizes.

A century ago the famous American physicist albert Michelson remarked that the shell of these insects that feed on foliage and wood of Alpine trees, it is most unusual interact with light. He found that the light beam is always twisted in a left spiral of the reflection from the body of the beetle, but couldn’t find any explanation for this.

Vukusic and his colleagues figured out why this happens by examining the surface structure of the elytra of Chrysina resplendens. They found that the beetle’s shell is essentially a rocket metamaterial consisting of a large number of chitin nanoparticles with a thickness in micrometer, laid in a kind of «stacks» and turned in different directions.

Thanks to the wing surface becomes a perfect mirror capable of reflecting not only regular sunlight, but any form of polarized light, including the radiation, twisted into a spiral. Interestingly, in the latter case, the light remains twisted in the same direction — if the beam is already twisted to the right, it remains the same after reflection.

The latter property makes scarabs is very interesting to scientists from a practical point of view, the spiral light and the ability of its «normal» to reflect will allow physicists to accelerate the work of Internet networks by encoding information in how «twisted» light. The installation is capable of producing a light of this type already exist, but none of them can not fit inside of the microchip. The detection of such miniature structures in nature, as the authors conclude the article simplifies this task.