Invisibility Cloak Soon to be a Reality?

Harry Potter had an invisibility cloak, and soon, we may too.  Scientists have taken the first steps in creating such an invisibility cloak, and estimate that it should take no longer than five years before it is fully developed and ready for use.

Professor John Pendry of Imperial College London doesn’t think it will take long to develop an invisible fabric, so long as there is adequate funding.

“You could build a shed out of this material and drive a tank in there, or a motor car, or hold a party inside it, and once you close the door everything it contains would be completely invisible” said Pendry.

For obvious reasons, the military’s interest has been captured, and has attracted the support of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The “cloak” would be made of a “metamaterial” that wouldn’t reflect light or cast a shadow.

“All light or other electromagnetic waves would be steered around the object, making it invisible,” said study author David Smith, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

The invisibility cloak does not yet exist, but Pendry says that the first versions for masking radiation such as microwaves could be made in about 18 months.

A report about the invisibility cloak was featured in today’s online edition of the journal Science, and is co-authored by John Pendry.

3 Comments

  1. Kitchen DesignerKitchen Designer05-27-2006

    I think that this cou

    and I hope so too.

    Oh dear, I’ve just dropped a piece of invisibility fabric across this message.

  2. graemegraeme12-29-2006

    Umm, I remember from science at school that if the object didn’t reflect light it absorbs it and then it is black not invisible.

    the only thing that doesn’t cast a shadow will be something where the light flows through it, in which case anything inside will cast a shadow and reflect light or absorb it.

    Kind of goes round in circles.

    One idea I had was for a pixelated material that displays images of the surroundings on a skin, thus forming a super camouflage no matter what angle it is viewed from. The edges possibly will have some difficulty. It will be visible from close distances, but not from far away. Obviously one of these will be very expensive to make.

  3. Waqar GhoriWaqar Ghori02-21-2007

    Looks like Japs have beaten them.

    I seen a TV report around a year ago. It shows some Japnesse scientists have made a jackect which use tiny cameras on every side of it and projects the images on the other opposite side of the jacket. It was gave a see through the body effect.

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