Space, as you know, is completely unsuitable for normal life. To stay in it, one has to adapt to weightlessness, as well as create a powerful shield against destructive cosmic radiation, which forces us to make, for example, space suits for work in open space very cumbersome.
A team of researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) has developed a new film nanomaterial that reflects infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Its surface is composed of nanoparticles that reflect certain wavelengths as needed.
The "transmission" wave capacity of a given material is controlled by changing the temperature of the nanoparticles, thereby changing the refractive indices.
According to ANU lead researcher Mohsen Rahmani, this is not refraction. In this case, individual nanoparticles begin to work on a sliding scale, completely transmitting light, reflecting it, or being in some intermediate state.
The heat source can be, for example, a laser beam or a micro-heater built into the spacesuit backing.
So far, the new nanomaterial is effective only against ultraviolet and infrared radiation. However, scientists are confident that its protective properties can be expanded in the future, and in the future the material will be able to withstand other types of radiation.
The invention will find application for household purposes. For example, it can turn a bathroom window into a mirror. It will also help you control the light intensity in the room depending on the time of year and day, like a smart window.