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Followup: A Working Invisibility Cloak?

Posted by: sue
October 19, 2006, 02:54 PM

Here is a followup for you now, on a story that we told you about last May on the plans to create a working invisibility cloak. is reporting that the earlier blueprints for this cloak have now been put into action, and scientists have created an "invisibility cloak that works in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum..."

The cloak works by steering microwave light around an object, making it appear to an observer as if it were not there at all. Materials that bend light in this way do not exist naturally, so have to be engineered with the necessary optical properties...Smith's cloak works in only two dimensions. It is about the size of a movie reel canister and consists of a series of concentric rings, each housing a set of simple electronic components that distort an electromagnetic field as it passes through."

While this is a breakthrough in technology, there are still many problems to be worked out, and it is not quite like the cloak James left for Harry reports the BBC.

"As an application it's not clear that you're going to get the invisibility that everyone thinks about - as in Harry Potter's cloak, or the Star Trek cloaking device," said co-author David Smith of Duke. Another scientist added:

"You mustn't demand that the cloak be too thin. Despite the hype around Harry Potter, this isn't anything that flaps around in the breeze, it's more like a shed."

Thanks to Roonwit, enelya, l, and everyone who emailed!

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