Gold rings create first true invisibility cloak

Posted on October 8, 2007 

Gold rings create first true invisibility cloak

The world’s first true invisibility cloak – a device able to hide an object in the visible spectrum – has been created by physicists in the US. But don’t expect it to compete with stage magic tricks. So far it only works in two dimensions and on a tiny scale.

The new cloak, which is just 10 micrometres in diameter, guides rays of light around an object inside and releases them on the other side. The light waves appear to have moved in a straight line, so the cloak – and any object inside – appear invisible.

To get around this problem, Smolyaninov’s team confine light to two dimensions. “The new cloak doesn’t control the light you can see directly,” explains Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at the University of St Andrews, UK. “It’s not the invisibility most people would imagine.”

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