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New technology brings `invisibility cloak` closer to reality

Last Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 12:45

Washington: Researchers have developed a thin material to help make things "invisible" within a limited range of light waves.

If any object is wrapped in the material called "mantle cloak," and created by University of Texas in Austin researchers, it "disappears," but the effect only applies to a limited range of light waves - specifically microwaves, CNN reported.

In their experiment, the physicists covered a cylinder about a foot long and an inch or so in diameter with the material. Microwave detectors could no longer "see" it, although it was still visible to the human eye. But the researchers said that the same principle can be transferred to the range of perceptible light.

Doing so they said would then make objects invisible to the human eye.

The effect of the material only covers a very small band of electromagnetic waves at one time, and in the visible range of light, it will only work on objects much thinner than a single strand of hair.

According to the report, the new cloak is made by combining copper tape with polycarbonate, a material commonly used in DVD`s and CDs.

The cloak has a miniscule pattern - like a finely checkered shirt - that neutralizes the waves bouncing off of it.

For it to work, the material`s pattern has to be roughly the same size of the wavelength of light to be cancelled out, which gives it a tightly limited range of waves it will work on.

The material has no effect on a vast array of electromagnetic waves that come in a myriad of sizes.

The study has been published in the New Journal of Physics.


First Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 12:45
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