The researchers used metamaterials and metasurfaces to build the tunnel experimentally, so that the magnetic field from a source, such as a magnet or an electromagnet, appears at the other end of the wormhole as an isolated magnetic monopole. This result is strange enough in itself, as magnetic monopoles - magnets with only one pole, whether north or south - do not exist in nature. The overall effect is that of a magnetic field that appears to travel from one point to another through a dimension that lies outside the conventional three dimensions.
The wormhole in this experiment is a sphere made of different layers: an external layer with a ferromagnetic surface, a second inner layer, made of superconducting material, and a ferromagnetic sheet rolled into a cylinder that crosses the sphere from one end to the other. The magnetic wormhole is an analogy of gravitational ones, as it "changes the topology of space, as if the inner region has been magnetically erased from space", explains Àlvar Sánchez, the lead researcher.
These same researchers had already built a magnetic fibre in 2014: a device capable of transporting the magnetic field from one end to the other. This fibre was, however, detectable magnetically. The wormhole developed now, though, is a completely three-dimensional device that is undetectable by any magnetic field. This means a step forward towards possible applications in which magnetic fields are used: mainstream media is only mentioning medicine, but you don’t need to be a Star Trek fan to realize the future potential of this technology!
This study, published in Scientific Reports, involved the UAB Department of Physics researchers Jordi Prat, Carles Navau and Àlvar Sánchez, who is also a lecturer at ICREA Academy. Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/uadb-mwc090315.php [Public Release: 3-Sep-2015]
Credit: Jordi Prat-Camps and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; the figure may be used in the media. (Unrestricted)