Sunday, June 04, 2006

Invisibility cloak, anyone?

Theoretical blueprint for invisibility cloak reported

David R. Smith of Duke's Pratt School of Engineering is one of the invisibility
cloak's technological tailors. Credit: Duke Photography

You are forgiven in advance for not believing this.
The cloaking devices a team of scientists at Imperial College London and Duke University conjectured, along with Leonhardt working independently, do not render items transparent, with light streaming through an object. Nor would these machines simply provide camouflage. Instead, the invisibility the scientists describe would smoothly guide rays of light completely around an item so they proceed along their original trajectory as if nothing were there, hiding the object from sight without producing reflections or shadows. These devices would not require power to work.

The idea is to have nano-scale light guides that just, well, guide light right around an object. Longer wavelengths will be easier, and it may be impossible to make guides for all wavelengths at once, thus rendering an object more like smoky glass than completely invisible.

But still...!


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