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Scientists Appear Closer to Real Invisibility Cloak

Posted by: Edward
August 13, 2008, 04:29 AM

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.

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