Manipulating waves with LEGO® bricks: A versatile experimental platform for metamaterial architectures

Paolo Celli, Stefano Gonella

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44 Scopus citations


In this letter, we discuss a versatile, fully reconfigurable experimental platform for the investigation of phononic phenomena in metamaterial architectures. The approach revolves around the use of 3D laser vibrometry to reconstruct global and local wavefield features in specimens obtained through simple arrangements of LEGO® bricks on a thin baseplate. The agility by which it is possible to reconfigure the brick patterns into a nearly endless spectrum of topologies makes this an effective approach for rapid experimental proof of concept, as well as a powerful didactic tool, in the arena of phononic crystals and metamaterials engineering. We use our platform to provide a compelling visual illustration of important spatial wave manipulation effects (waveguiding and seismic isolation), and to elucidate fundamental dichotomies between Bragg-based and locally resonant bandgap mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081901
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 24 2015

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