Electrons in graphene behave like light, only better
Electrical and computer engineers have directly observed — for the first time — negative refraction for electrons passing across a boundary between two regions in a conducting material. First predicted in 2007, this effect has been difficult to confirm experimentally. The researchers were able to observe the effect in graphene, demonstrating that electrons in the atomically thin material behave like light rays, which can be manipulated by such optical devices as lenses and prisms. The findings could lead to the development of new types of electron switches, based on the principles of optics rather than electronics.