NSU researcher named one of state’s tip scientists – The Virginian
June 18, 2015 - accent chair
CAUTION: Big difference ahead.
They’re entrance from a fifth-floor bureau during Norfolk State University, a domicile of Mikhail Noginov, a researcher and highbrow named one of a state’s superb scientists of 2015.
Noginov’s niches: metamaterials, nanoplasmonics, pointless lasers, solid-state laser materials and nonlinear optics.
Brace yourselves. It gets even harder to follow. Ponder a following, from a press recover released by a governor’s bureau to announce Noginov’s selection:
“His breakthrough contributions to a investigate of plasmonics embody a proof of a remuneration of a aspect plasmons detriment by visual gain, wild glimmer of aspect plasmons polaritons and proof of a smallest plasmonic-based nanolaser. He is also a personality in exploring metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion.”
We ask him to mangle it down and explain his work like he’s articulate to a sixth-grader. Noginov leans behind in his chair – a skinny male with a china moustache, a thick Russian accent and a 21-page resume.
“It’s Harry Potter stuff,” he says, eyes glinting with humor.
He launches into metamaterials, that starts with an reason of light refraction – how eyeglasses hook light to urge vision, or a straw stranded in a potion of H2O appears bent. Metamaterials are synthetic materials that take refraction to extremes.
“If we could hide really tiny nano structures of this element into, let’s say, a cylinder, afterwards we could make it like it’s invisible,” Noginov says. “The light would strike it, go around, and we would see what’s on a other side. The cylinder, and whatever is inside it, would seem transparent.”
Aha. Optical cloaking. We’ve seen adequate sci-fi to get that, during slightest in theory.
Scientists like Noginov are primary catches for investigate universities. They pierce standing and assistance land millions in grants. Much of Noginov’s appropriation comes from a National Science Foundation and a U.S. Department of Defense. Invisibility could be accessible in troops operations.
Educated in Moscow – a brood of academics – he came to a U.S. in 1991 to do post-doctoral production investigate during a Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He dictated to lapse to Russia in one year though wound adult during Alabama AM, afterwards changed to NSU in 1997. His wife, also from Russia and a professor, came with him.
“Alabama was a good place,” he says, “but it’s still Alabama. We wanted to get closer to civilization.”
NSU’s picture might have taken a strike lately, he says – a propagandize has been on trial with a accrediting group given Dec – though a standing improves with distance. “Internationally, a repute is good,” Noginov says.
The volume of investigate conducted during NSU is comparatively small, though “what we do, we do during a really high level,” he says. “We are doing a same things as Harvard, MIT and Princeton.”
One thing he says is impressive: SPIE, an general multitude for researchers like Noginov, towering 48 scientists to associate standing this year. Two are in Virginia, and both work during NSU, Noginov and Kyo Song, a highbrow of engineering.
“That’s dual out of 48 in a world,” Noginov says.
It’s time for a lecture in nanoplasmonics. “But instead of sixth grade,” he says, “we contingency pierce adult to high school.”
Make that modernized high propagandize classes.
Noginov starts articulate about lasers, certain and disastrous charges, photons, oscillation, inertia, gains, velocities, micrometers, nanometers. He’s losing us. Eyes are glazing. He says something about it all heading to smaller, faster computers. We think.
His selected fields of investigate are young. Uses will develop and turn clear, he says.
For now, few things make him happier than a day spent in a lab instead of a office, where reports and proposals eat adult too many hours. For exercise, he jogs on a beach. He says he has no time to review for pleasure or watch TV.
He has, however, seen a small of “The Big Bang Theory,” a long-running sitcom centered on a integrate of physicist geeks during Caltech. He says a scholarship pieces are “surprisingly accurate. They contingency have a good consultant.”
So what does he do to relax, to still a mind that’s built to gnaw on things like wavelengths, displacements and orders of magnitude.
For a second, a doubt seems to nonplus him. What a novel idea.
“It never shuts off,” he says.
Joanne Kimberlin, 757-446-2338,
Posted to: News Norfolk