Monday, August 11, 2008

Invisibility cloak possible in near future


Boy, this has been all over the place. I want to thank Karen for bringing it first to my attention and Shaun Saunders for the easiest article to understand on the subject.

As we have all been reading, there are multiple efforts under way to develop a simple way to cloak people and machinery from detection. Previous efforts have aimed at only blocking certain wavelengths from being reflected. Other methods have used complicated building methods and expensive absorbent material to soak up and scatter other wavelengths. But an effective "cloak" for visible and near infra-red have proved difficult. Up to this point most efforts have used massive computer systems and cameras to make something appear to be invisible. Now, BBC news reports that :
  • Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around 3D objects. The materials do not occur naturally but have been created on a nano scale. The light-bending effect relies on reversing refraction, the effect that makes a straw placed in water appear bent.
Reversing refraction has been shown to be possible with microwaves, but this is the first time that the method has been demonstrated on frequencies much closer to the visible spectrum. The effect has been described as neither absorption or refraction, but quite litteraly letting the light "flow" around the desired structure.

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1 comment:

wolfkahn said...

More Trek-tech coming true. Our Cell phones and computers are already Trek level, scientists have "teleported" a quantum state, and now this.

I want my warp drive and holodeck next!