Harry Potter had an invisibility cloak, and soon, we may too.Â 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 professorÂ 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.