Scientists close in on invisibility cloak that works in visible spectrum

Shane McGlaun - Sep 17, 2015, 3:05 pm CDT
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Scientists close in on invisibility cloak that works in visible spectrum

A team of researchers lead by an engineer at Pennsylvania State University have announced a significant breakthrough using nano-materials that gets us one step closer to a cloak of invisibility. The researchers have devised a thin skin of a nano-mateiral that is able to cloak objects in visible spectrum. The material is only 80nm thick making it 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Using the new cloak the scientists can hide a small 3D object of any shape and make it appear to be completely flat. The nano-material cloak doesn’t make things see through like something from Harry Potter books, rather it makes bulky objects appear completely flat.

Imagine being able to hide a person under a cloak of this sort on the ground and make them appear to be flat with the floor or ground or hide listening devices on walls.

invisible-cloak

The surface of the cloak the researchers invented is made up of a forest of tiny antennas made from gold bricks that can be printed onto objects that need to be concealed.

Light that hits the objects is reflected cleanly backwards rather than being diffused in all direction. The diffusion of light is what allows us to perceive shapes.

The researchers say that for now the technique hides objects a few micrometers in size, but the potential is there to hide larger objects possibly up to meters in size. One major drawback for now is that the cloak hides the object only in a single color of light, for instance when looking with red light the object disappears, but it would be visible under blue light.

SOURCE: Popular Mechanics


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