The Cloak Of Invisibility Is Now Real And Too Cheap To Be True
For all you Harry Potter fans out there, the Muggle scientists have come up with a real, working demo of the invisibility cloak!
The trick behind cloaking is not actually magic; it is the way you manage to bend the light being reflected off the object being cloaked. This technique basically involves using Metamaterials — artificial materials that are tinier than the wavelength of the waves they affect.
Metamaterials direct and control the propagation and transmission of specified parts of the light spectrum and demonstrate the potential to render an object seemingly invisible. Metamaterial cloaking, based on transformation optics, describes the process of shielding something from view by controlling electromagnetic radiation.
Cloaking has since long been a major area of interest in physical science. The first, somewhat successful, attempt at cloaking was made by scientists at Duke University in 2006 when they developed the metamaterials and called it a “breakthrough.” However, there were some constraints to the cloaking materials. They could only work for microwave emitters.
Now scientists at the University of Rochester have unearthed a more robust way to hide objects from sight – using inexpensive lenses.
“A lot of people have worked on a lot of different aspects of optical cloaking for years,” John Howell, a professor of physics at the upstate New York school, said on Friday.
The Cloak of Invisibility, or the Rochester Cloak, is not actually a “cloak” to begin with. It is more of a lens, something similar to what you’d find during your eye check ups. However, when any object is placed behind these layered lenses, the object seems to “disappear” while the view behind it is completely undisturbed.
Previous cloaking methods didn’t manage to grab much usage because of high costs and limited angles at which invisibility could be seen from.
“From what, we know this is the first cloaking device that provides three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking,” said Joseph Choi, a graduate student who helped develop the method at Rochester, which is renowned for its optical research.
The researches of the Rochester Cloak have tested on a hand, a face, and a ruler, obtaining positive results. Attaining the correct blend of materials, which allow us to see the view behind the hidden object is actually very practical in the future, in everyday use or warfare.
“I imagine this could be used to cloak a trailer on the back of a semi-truck so the driver can see directly behind him,” Choi said. “It can be used for surgery, in the military, in interior design, art.”
What more is intriguing about this perfection is its price, the researchers have had to spend just around $1000 for this discovery. Want to try making your own cloak? Follow these simple instructions by Rochester to create one under $100!