Invisibility Cloaks

Long a staple of science-fiction and fantasy, the ability to become invisible would be a revolutionary technological development. By bending light of all wavelengths around an object, irrespective of its shape, both metalenses and metamaterials offer the potential to effectively “cloak” any object. Recent research has demonstrated that combining the two nanotechnology devices may in fact pave the way to the first working, universal invisibility cloak.

Ethan Siegel – Invisibility cloaks are not just possible, but are becoming reality

That passage above reflects the key takeaways from a recent article on the topic. Another example of science fiction becoming science fact. The author states that the fusion of recent nanotechnology advances could finally enable the first visible-light cloaking device. Achieving this requires the following.

The only way to achieve actual transparency would be if the light coming from behind the object could somehow still arrive, with the same trajectory, in front of the object, as though the light were transmitted directly through the object. The way a true “cloaking device” would work, then, to hide a material that wasn’t intrinsically transparent would be to divert the light around an object from all directions. This way, any observer, looking from any location and orientation, would simply see the background signals, as though the cloaked object weren’t there at all.

Ethan Siegel – Invisibility cloaks are not just possible, but are becoming reality

For an in depth description of how Harry Potter meets reality, see the article above.

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