University of Pennsylvania Engineers have designed a metamaterial device that can solve integral equations. The device works by encoding parameters into the properties of an incoming electromagnetic wave; once inside, the device's unique structure manipulates the wave in such a way that it exits encoded with the solution to a pre-set integral equation for that arbitrary input.
In this detail shot, the researcher's "Swiss cheese" pattern can be clearly seen. The pattern is milled out of a type of polystyrene plastic. Its complicated shape represents part of a specific integral equation that can be solved for different variables, which are encoded in the microwaves sent into the device.