New Version of Invisibility Moves Closer to Visual Cloaking

Posted on January 19, 2009 

New Version of Invisibility Moves Closer to Visual Cloaking

Researchers who created the first so-called invisibility cloak in 2006, have made significant advances that could lead to an invisibility cloak for visible light in as little as six months. “A large number of folks are looking at it, and I think it’s a matter of coupling the right material to the right device,” [Discovery News] said researcher David Smith. His team has developed an algorithm that speeds up the design of materials that can bend light around an object. Using the new algorithm, they were able to create an invisibility cloak that can bend much wider spectrum of microwaves than previous versions.

Invisibility cloaks rely on metamaterials, ones with unique properties that derive from [their] physical structure, not [their] chemical make up [Discovery News]. Smith compares the effect of metamaterials on light to mirages that appear over a road on sweltering days. “You see what looks like water hovering over the road, but it is in reality a reflection from the sky,” Smith said. “In that example, the mirage you see is cloaking the road below. In effect, we are creating an engineered mirage with this latest cloak design” [AFP].

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