My “Newton moment”

by Robine Sabat

The Covid-19 virus suddenly appeared three months ago in China, started to spread all over the world and affected all the European countries.

This pandemic crippled the busy life in France, which led to close all universities, laboratories… As a result, the only way for the continuation of my project’s part with the least losses was to work from home.

The young “Isaac Newton” at the age of 24, same age as I am now, discovered the earth gravity while he was confined view to the epidemic of Bubonic plague that ravaged England.

Inspired by this well-known physicist, I resumed my research from home, quiet surrounding helped me differentiate between the sound frequencies around me and extend my knowledge in Acoustic field with all my usual enthusiasm.

My study concerns the development of a thin metasurface based on sub-wavelength units for non-trivial physical phenomena, like: anomalous reflection, steering, deflection …

Therefore, I divided my work into several parts:

  • Reading articles about the history of the acoustic field, the methods and structures already created for the same objective and the different applications for these kinds of structures. (Helmholtz-like resonator structure, membrane-type structure, coiling-up space structure…)
  • Analyzing these articles and finding out the best sub-wavelength unit’s shape that can be used in my metasurface.
  • Working remotely on the Comsol Multiphysics software based on a Finite Element Method (FEM) to simulate the models and optimize the best geometry.
  • Comparing the Simulation results with analytical ones.
  • Collaborating ideas on Skype with my supervisors and taking advises from them.

I know the world is living crucial times and I am afraid that life may not be the same after this all ends. On another side, this virus taught me a huge lesson: Each morning I wake up, grateful I am able to breath; I look around and get amused by the simplest things. My biggest gratitude is that I’m healthy enough and I have the opportunity to resume my researches.

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