So, Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak was just a children’s story? Scientists managed to develop an invisibility cloak that actually works. Well, at least from one direction, anyway.
Invisibility is something we all openly (or more secretly) wish for, but since magic isn’t possible, it’s up to scientists with huge funding to give us that. For years now, scientists haven’t made much progress, until scientists with the Duke University and London’s Imperial College had a breakthrough. Two scientists have developed a technology that guides light in such a way that it makes an object disappear.
Researchers Nathan Landry of Duke University and John Pendry of the Imperial College in London have published in Nature Materials their results with invisibility. These two managed to solve a problem, so many other scientists before them were baffled by. And they only were successful in making an object disappear with the invisibility cloak from one direction.
The materials used in their invisibility cloak make transportation optics possible in a new way. Meta-materials in the cloak move light particles around and simply hide an object. The diamond-shaped invisibility cloak scientists have developed is a huge piece of the puzzle. Before the diamond-shaped form, the edges of the object and its reflection didn’t match up.
“We built the cloak, and it worked” said Nathan Landy, a Duke University graduate student now working in the lab of the School of Engineering. “It split into two waves which traveled around an object in the center and re-emerged as the single wave minimal loss due to reflections” he said of the invisibility experiment.
TG Daily writes that the working invisibility cloak has “row-by row design…with added copper strips to creat [sic] a more complicated –and better-performing – material”. “Each quadrant of the cloak tended to have voids, or blind spots, at their intersections and corners with each other” explained Nathan Landy. “After many calculations, we thought we could correct this situation by shifting each strip so that it met its mirror image at each interface” he added.