This Invisibility Cloak Is Powerful Enough To Hide Keys And Other Small Objects

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Yes, people have made invisibility cloaks before. So far, though, all we’ve seen are minuscule versions that only work with very, very tiny objects. A significant stride appears to have been made, however, as a group of researchers managed to create a scaled-up version that can cloak still-small-but-relatively-larger objects like keys and tiny pet lizards.

Created by a team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), it’s the first invisibility cloak that can hide objects big enough to make them viable for classroom demonstrations, since they don’t require specialized equipment (such as lenses, as we've seen in other projects like the Rochester Cloak) in order to work. Like other previous invisibility cloaks, the new one diverts light around an object to shield it from detection; unlike them, it uses modifications that enable the ability to hide larger items.

Compensating for the increased distance the light will travel has been the fundamental challenge for any invisibility cloak. In the KIT team’s version, they developed a silicon-based organic polymer that’s mixed with titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which scatters the light waves and slows down their propagation. This light is then restored to normal speed later to make up for the longer path, creating the optical illusion. In the new system, the team will place an object they want to cloak inside a hollow metal cylinder that’s coated with acrylic paint, which is then embedded inside the team’s light-scattering polymer.

The first public demonstration of the technology will take place in a presentation called "All-Solid-State Invisibility Cloak for Diffuse Light," which is scheduled for May 13th at the Executive Ballroom 210C of the San Jose Convention Center.

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One Response

  1. William

    This is a really interested and impressive development of technology. You know, this however reminds me of the progressive technology of Holograms, such as in the sense and purpose of having an interactive touchscreen in your room (like in the movies). However, just like Holographic Technology is based around light manipulation and project-based laser systems (not totally ‘authentic’), likewise does this technology seem to be manipulatively limited in what it’s really providing it’s consumers and audience.

    When I say this, I bring it up because I’d really like to see ‘cloaking’ technology be innovated and made available for military (and government, law enforcement) personnel to protect them from predators and cowardly acts such as IED’s, or other impractical and low-mined tactics that undermine our soldiers purposes towards peacemaking abroad.

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