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very cool "invisibility" cloak

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

A US-British team of scientists has successfully tested a cloak of invisibility in the laboratory.

The device hid a small copper cylinder from passing microwaves in tests at Duke University in North Carolina.

It works by deflecting the microwaves around the object and restoring them on the other side, as if they had passed through empty space.

But making an object vanish before a person's eyes is still the stuff of science fiction - for now.

The cloak consists of 10 fibreglass rings covered with copper elements. This is classed as a "metamaterial" - an artificial composite that can be engineered to produce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves.

The precise variations in the shape of copper elements patterned on to the ring surfaces determines their properties.

In the experiment, the team used microwaves to try to detect the metal cylinder within the cloak.

Like light waves, microwaves bounce off objects making them visible and creating a shadow, though at microwave frequencies the detection has to be made by instruments rather than the naked eye.

Gone from view

The metamaterial cloak channelled the microwaves around the object like water in a river flowing around a smooth rock.

When water flows around a rock, the water recombines on the opposite side. Someone looking at the water downstream would never guess it had passed by a rock.

In principle, the same theoretical blueprint could be used to cloak objects from visible light. But this would pose a challenge, as nano-scale engineering would be needed to make the cloak.

"As an application it's not clear that you're going to get the invisibility that everyone thinks about - as in Harry Potter's cloak, or the Star Trek cloaking device," said co-author David Smith of Duke University.

"But it shows what can be done with artificial materials. It gives us some insight that we can design something that we wouldn't have been able to do with any existing material."

The researchers say that if an object can be hidden from microwaves, it can be hidden from radar - a possibility that will fascinate the military.

Cloaking differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.
post #2 of 13
but does it have a +15 agility enchant?
post #3 of 13
or the protective properties of mithril?
post #4 of 13
ROFL. WTB 10000g pst
post #5 of 13
Looks like we might beat the Romulans after all.
post #6 of 13
Leaves too much sleeve showing.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Leaves too much sleeve showing.

no longer the four in hand , but the sleight of hand..
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by designprofessor
no longer the four in hand , but the sleight of hand..
post #9 of 13
now if Valextra would only come out with a Bag of Holding, we'd be all set!
post #10 of 13
Pictures pictures!? Maybe JK Rowling hasn't made up all her stories? :O
post #11 of 13
here's a picture of me wearing the cloak, in front of the eiffel tower.
post #12 of 13
Holy shit, I can't see you! Did you also happen to be wearing a pair of Eiffel jeans? If so, I'd fully understand why you were wearing the cloak. On-topic: Some Japanese scientists invented a see-through cloak a few years earlier. http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/sc...00/2730639.stm I don't see how that stops Japanese girls from spotting you when you are entering their locker room, though.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by faustian bargain
now if Valextra would only come out with a Bag of Holding, we'd be all set!

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