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Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and the University of Rennes have discovered a new method that allows Wi-Fi signals to pass through walls more efficiently, a development that could transform broadband connectivity in the home. , as well as 6G. (opens in a new tab)

Currently, Wi-Fi signals are reflected or absorbed by solid walls, limiting their range and transmission quality.

To remedy this, the researchers created a method that "calculates" an invisible anti-reflective structure on a solid wall, which allows the signal to pass through undisturbed.

Anti-reflective coating

"You can think of it as similar to the anti-reflective coating on your glasses," said Professor Stefan Rotter from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at TU Wien.

"You add an extra layer to the surface of the glasses, which makes it easier for light waves to pass through your eyes than before: glare is reduced."

In their article (opens in a new tab), the researchers described a successful experiment in which microwaves were sent through a complex and messy maze of obstacles designed to replicate a hostile environment, such as a living room. A corresponding antireflection structure was then calculated and reflection of the signal was almost completely eliminated.

"First, you just need to send a few waves through the medium and measure exactly how those waves are reflected from the material," added Michael Horodynski of TU Wien, who is first author on the post.

“We were able to show that this information can be used to calculate a corresponding offset structure for any medium that scatters waves in a complex way, such that the combination of the two media allows the waves to pass through completely. The key to this is a mathematical method that we have developed to calculate the exact shape of this anti-reflective layer.

The researchers are optimistic that the calculations can create a layer that prevents reflection and could even have implications for the next generation of mobile connectivity. The document suggests that wave dynamics and wave dispersion will play an important role in 6G, reducing the strength required for signals.

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