Scientists Develop Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak

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Scientists have developed an ultra-thin invisibility cloak.

Ever wish you could make yourself invisible? Well, you can either shrink yourself down to a millionth of a meter, or wrap yourself in a new cloak that renders objects inside invisible.

University of Texas at Austin researcher Andrea Alu and his colleagues call it a "3-D stand-alone mantle cloak." The invisibility film is only one-tenth of a millimeter thick, but it makes objects wrapped in it invisible to microwave scanners.

While earlier attempts at rendering objects undetectable bent light waves around an object, theirs negates the scattered light waves by the object.

The researchers tested their discovery by wrapping an 18-centimeter ceramic rod in the material they call a “metascreen’ and blasted it with microwaves. Their imagers couldn’t pick up the rod’s presence, even though it was clearly visible to the naked eye.

Civilian applications could include new means of creating nanodevices for computing and energy harvesting. Alu also offers, “In principle, this technique could also be used to cloak light.”

While you wait for an invisibility cloak of your own, read up on the topic. Plato’s The Republic, Shakespeare’s The Tempest , and Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe all involve characters grappling with the ins and outs of the power.