Scientists Appear Closer to Real Invisibility Cloak

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Aug 13, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

USA Today has an article online discussing the scientific advances in technology that would make it possible for an invisibility cloak object to exist. Once only something of fiction from the Harry Potter novels, the article reports that scientists have created two prototyped materials that bend light, the first of many steps in advancing the technology. The creation of these two materials is an “important step” in creating an invisibly cloak, along with other devices in the future. Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, is quoted in the article as saying: “Being able to bend light in unusual ways is important for applications that almost resemble magic.” The article goes on to say:

One of the new prototypes is a woven fishnet of silver nanowires, each one about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. It was reported this week in the journal Science.

The team tested the device for red, or visible, light and infrared light and said the prototype bends red light from all angles hundreds of times more effectively than in past attempts.

The other device, reported this week in Nature magazine, relies on 21 stacked grids of silver and magnesium fluoride of similarly small sizes. The researchers found that the device bent infrared light around the grids.

There is also a video online from the AP which showcases the new prototypes and the Berkley scientists which are working in this developing field. USA Today also cites a previous report which expands on the research and progress in creating an invisibility cloak. This article reports on a cloak ‘about 5 inches across, consisting of 10 fiberglass plates precisely etched with U-shaped copper divots to cancel reflections and shadows from microwaves.’ Readers will remember that back in 2006, we reported that further advancements were made on this front with blueprints for cloak were in the works. While it still may be many years before an invisibility cloak like the one seen in the Harry Potter series can be created, scientists believe that the technology being created can find uses in military applications as well as for cellphone and radio communication.





50 Responses to Scientists Appear Closer to Real Invisibility Cloak

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every six months there’s a piece of news about how closer scientists are to a real invisibility cloak… not quite happening

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I wish that they could ACTUALLY figure out a real invisibility cloak. I hope this means something.

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thats AWESOME. haha i\they would be a billion dollars.

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This may sound cool and all but I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out with public opinion when they actually succeed…big brother much?

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Is leaky just trying to post news…whatever they can find.

I would like to read some actual news

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Just use Demiguise hair, duh.

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Its interesting but its not like the public is going to get a hold of this. I heard about this years ago and its strictly military based. But even in that environment what if something like this gets into the ‘wrong hands’..its a potential problem.

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Hmm… I’ll believe it when I see it (so to speak).

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Joshua, valid point however if the technology exists out there somewhere that leaves access to your every day high school science wiz to discover it and build himself something that does nearly the same thing. Lot of things are strictly built for the military but eventually an average joe gets ahold of it.

The wonders this type of thing would do for criminals is unimaginable – so that’s the major downside.

However, the cloak would still have disadvantages like we’ve seen in Harry Potter, weather would give away the person immediately. A good strong gust of wind, rain, snow … so it wouldn’t be fool proof. I have no doubt that the technology exists and will eventually get to a point where we do start seeing military outfits made from it. I don’t think we’ll see exactly what we saw in Potter – not even fifty, sixty years from now.

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oops, sorry I meant rose

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HA! I WIN! when kin i have one? 10 years.

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lol josh.

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This is exciting, but as they plan to use it in war, I rather hope it doesn’t work out.

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Well I think they really are getting closer. I read about this in The Sun yesterday and it seems to be really working. It would be cool to see. I don’t care if I can’t have one (though that would be cool) but just seeing it work would be awesome!!

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I really doubt this is something any government should have their hands on… as “cool” as it sounds I don’t think they need any extra help infringing on peoples privacy which it would ultimately be used for.

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I don’t need a cloak to become invisible…

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Who needs a cloak when you can be a ninja?

Seriously, interesting story, thanks for posting it, Leaky!

However, invisibility technology sounds exceedingly dangerous to me, especially since it’s specifcally being designed for military uses. It sounds to me a lot like the movie Steamboy – how should we use science? For the betterment of society, or for profit, and thus, war?

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Yeah very funny jordan.Anyway,I’ve read this artical once before and I’m highly interested.It’d really fancy seeing something like this

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Of course, it says in the article that the gentlest breeze would shatter the nanofiber, and that’s serious limitation, seeing as strengthening it would make it bulkier, and thus harder to refract everything away, so while it seems we will have invisibility technology within our lifetimes, I would be very surprised if we have functional invisibility technology within the next 50 years or so.

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I hope it doesn’t work, as A) It’ll spoil the magic. B) I can see, somewhere in the future, that it’ll be used to aid criminals! That’ll be a long way off, but could still happen.

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Vincent, well said, I totally agree! Any little snippet of news, especially regarding the HBP film, would be more welcome than most items included on this site. I came across an interview with Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) in which she briefly describes filming the Spinner’s End scene (with a nice little morsel for us starving Snape fans) and also talks about the creative input of the producers. I actually joined Leaky to post it but it has been ignored. If anyone is interested you can find it at www.couttswoman.com/2008/july/features/helen-mccrory.asp

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But I have seen this! Bruce and Lloyd made it!

But seriously, cool factor aside, how can there possibly be positive uses for an invisibility cloak? Might as well perfect a Hand of Glory while they’re at it so they can be doubly sure they’re not seen.

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i think this sounds soo cool :)

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Omg, I want one, so I can watch Rupert Grint in the shower, haha.

kidding.

But sirisly, this is SO cool, but it’s like when they thought they could invent a time machine and they were like ‘No-one can use it unless your rich, it’ll cost about 34565432345654321 pounds/dollars’

bah.

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OMG! I wanna hide from my kids! You think they will loan it to me? :P

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i cannot get on coc

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Wow! I hope i live long enough to see the invisibility cloak. I’m going to start saving my pocket money right now.

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Scientific advances like this are really exciting. As for being used by criminals… I’m sure the household burglar alarm can be modified to use some sort of body-heat detecting sensor, instead of motion detecting..

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@SpinnersLibrarian,

That website doesn’t seem to work. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t posted on this site. FYI, I’m using a Mac OS X 10.4 and Firefox. Maybe it works for someone else using a different system? But I wouldn’t get all pissed that there’s not more relevant news; I’m sure they’re doing the best they can!

Avatar Image says:

that is one of the koolest things i have ever heard, but it also makes me angry! they think that they can recreate the cloak without magic! that gets rid of all the fun (but i think i would still buy one!

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The biggest problem with any personal “cloaking” technology that bends light around the object is the fact that somebody wearing this technology over their eyes would not be able to see. Think about it. If all the light hitting this cloak is bent around it, then no light is reaching the user’s eyes. No light reaching an eye equals no sight. If the system allowed some light to reach the eyes, then the eyes could be seen.

Avatar Image says:

ok, that’s pretty cool….but the cloak in Harry Potter isn’t scientific…it’s magical. With fantasy (not real, made up) magic you can do the impossible because it’s possibliites to what it can do are endless! So, whatever cloak scientists create is going to be bound by the abilities of this world…so I guess I’m just trying to say that an ‘invisibility cloak’ that scientists create will not be just like Harry’s. But that would still be cool. 8)

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They should name it the Ignatius Peverell cloak, LOL.

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Joe, good thinking. That makes perfect sense.

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While an invisibility cloak would be nifty, you’d have no practical use for it because you wouldn’t be able to see out of it. If, as it suggests, the fabric can bend light totally away from the cloak to generate “invisibility,” that means that the wearer would experience the same effect and would be able to see nothing. It would be less of that “seeing through cloth” effect used in the movies and more of “induced blindness.” As the quote goes, “If I close my eyes, you can’t see me.”

I didn’t take physics for nothing. ;)

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It’s really cool to imagine, but it kind of takes away from Harry Potter and the whole magic idea. I agree with Tom M., it could serve for bad uses than good. And even for the military..it’s still really scary. What is the world coming to?

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Whoa. That’s awesome. :)

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Actually, I have it on good authority that the US Air force has been testing “cloaking” technology for use on several different airframes for some time now with varying levels of success…

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for us normal people it sounds great, but in reality, people only want to be hidden when their doing something they shouldn’t. i would use it to see what my one nieghbor says about me behind my back. see the problem?

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I thought this sounded really awesome at first, but the more I think about it, the more it seems that this is actually something really dangerous.

Progress for the sake of progress.

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I really doubt that any of this material, when made possible (as it most definitely will be) will be accessible to public. Stuff like “invisibility cloaks” are usually classified alongside stuff like “tanks” and whatnot, aka: strictly for military use only.

I also would assume that they’d input a tiny encrypted GPS signal in each and every “cloak” so that if any are stolen, they are traceable despite being invisible. I mean it only makes sense right?

I can’t wait to see the actual product and see its test runs though! most awesome.

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I read about this in the BBC a few days ago, and remember hearing about it a while ago. One scientist even dubbed what they were going for as “the Harry Potter effect.” Cool! I’ve been wondering if they were going to post this news or consider it too small, but there seems to be a slight news shortage this week so I guess this is interesting enough. :)

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It makes me uneasy, because if our country makes it, yeah it’s a cool bit of science, but unlike the wizarding world, the US Military wil be the only ones privy to the invisibility cloak! What a waste of money and minds! Sorry, but I have two autistic children and would love to have those brains focused on a cure or researching the known cause.

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IDK if an invisability cloak would actually be a good. Someone could do a lot of admage with one. Imagine what malfoy would do? huh? we were just lucky that Harry is Harry.

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dammit I emailed to this about 2 days ago, the BBC also talked about the reality of the Harry Potter effect

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If anyone is interested in the Helen McCrory/Spinner’s End article I mentioned in my post on Page 2, the address is not a link.

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I would agree that the only people with access to the cloak would probably be military personnel and maybe police. There are too many ways to abuse the power for it to be released to the public.

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Dude, I want an invisibility cloak, this is so awesome!!

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This story was on the evening news the other night. They showed clips from POA in the news story. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw Harry!

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