New software from Sandia lets users design sciencefiction-
like materials with the same efficiency that
architects use when they draft building plans.
Sandia has created the first inverse-design software for
optical metamaterials. That means users start by describing
the result they want, and the software fills in the
steps needed to get there. The modern design approach
takes guesswork out of engineering as-yet theoretical
technologies, such as ultracompact, high-performance
cameras and cloaking armor that could make wearers
invisible to detection.