‘Invisibility Cloaks’ to become a reality?

Sep 22, 2015

Posted by: Emma Pocock

News, Science

A new microscopic invisibility cloak has been created!

This venture in science builds on previous cloaking experiments from 2006, 2012 and 2013. According to the source in Science (which you will need a subscription or institutional access to view), the new tested device is made of an extremely thin layer of rectangular light-scattering antennae blocks (like a microscopic skin), which adapts the shape of the object and hides it from detection with visible light by bouncing light off of the object like a mirror, rendering it ‘invisible’!

Scientists claim that this technology could be developed for military purposes to hide vehicles, aircraft or soldiers. However, at the moment the device is only available on a microscopic 3D scale.

From the International Business Times:

‘The test is the first time that a 3D object with bumps and dents has been hidden from visible light, said Xiang Zhang, director of the Materials Sciences Division of the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in a press release. He added that the ultra-thin cloak looks like a coat, which is easy to design and implement, that could potentially be developed for hiding larger objects.

However, Zhang said that the technology would take five to 10 years to be practical to use. The device uses metamaterials, different from natural materials, which can bend or curve the reflection of light by following the structure of the object being cloaked rather than its chemical composition.

“The fact that we can make a curved surface appear flat also means that we can make it look like anything else. We also can make a flat surface appear curved,” said Xingjie Ni, the study’s lead author and a professor of electrical engineering at the Penn State University.

Zhang also reportedly stated that this new device – unlike previous ventures – could be used to cloak people when developed further.

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