In the presence of an external magnetic field, cobalt nanoparticle-based ferrofluid forms a self-assembled hyperbolic metamaterial. The wave equation, which describes propagation of extraordinary light inside the ferrofluid, exhibits 2+1 dimensional Lorentz symmetry. The role of time in the corresponding effective three-dimensional Minkowski space–time is played by the spatial coordinate directed along the periodic nanoparticle chains aligned by the magnetic field. Here, we present a microscopic study of point, linear, planar and volume defects of the nanoparticle chain structure and demonstrate that they may exhibit strong similarities with such Minkowski space–time defects as magnetic monopoles, cosmic strings and the recently proposed space–time cloaks. Experimental observations of such defects are described.
One contribution of 14 to a Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Spatial transformations: from fundamentals to applications’.
- Accepted February 4, 2015.
- © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.