Invisibility Cloak Might Actually Be Possible

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Invisibility Cloak Might Actually Be Possible

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A cloak of invisibility has been a staple of fantasy literature from folklore to Harry Potter but a team of scientists has proved that such an item might become a reality.

The idea of becoming invisible is up there on every gamer's wishlist. Whether it's through wearing a cloak, casting a spell, putting on a magic ring, or hiding your ship with a cloaking device, you've probably accomplished the feat hundreds of times in games. But what if we were able to create a real Cloak of Invisibility? A team of scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have published a paper describing how they were able to fabricate a small piece of matter which rendered objects beneath it invisible. Fabrication techniques still limit the size of the object that they can hide but the team at least proved that such an item is feasible.

The study was led by scientist named Tolga Ergin. He said that the theory behind the experiment came from an idea first proposed by the English professor, Sir John Pendry from Imperial College London.

"He proposed the theoretical design of having an object hidden under a bump and making the bump disappear," said Dr. Ergin. "It's like a carpet mirror. If you hide an object under it, there is a bump, so you see a distortion in the reflected image. We put the carpet cloak on top of that bump and it bends the light so that the distortions disappear. You have the impression that the mirror you're looking at is flat."

Previously, it was possible to drill very tiny holes into an object using a laser which would bend the light so that an object beneath it would appear invisible. But this process had a limit in that this effect only functioned when looking at the object from one direction. Ergin's team got around this limitation and made 3D invisibility possible by using "laser writing" on a photo sensitive material.

"Wherever you put the focus spot into the material, it will harden," said Dr. Ergin. "It's a similar process to photography - when you develop it, whatever hasn't been exposed to the laser will be washed away."

Unfortunately, using this technique they were only able to make a cloak that could hide an object one micrometer (one millionth of a meter) long.

"It took us three hours to make this structure, so if you wanted to make it even one millimeter [one thousandth of a meter] in size you would have to wait a very long time," said Dr. Ergin. "But in theory there are no limits. You could blow this up and hide a house."

Neat stuff, even if they are in the very early stages. What would you do if you had a real invisibility cloak?

Source: BBC

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remember Reading this earlier on the BBC. It would be so cool to own one!

Imagine all the (im)practical situations it could be used for!

Definately nothing illegal.

*Shifty eyes*

Nothing involing the nakedness of females thats for sure!

I think people bought it.. phew..

I...want...it...nao!

Hmmm... interesting... very interesting...
Possible applications for that kind of technology... hmmm...
But, if it fell into the wrong hands...

*hides in Escapist HQ*

Now what? I guess I'll just go scare the shit out of Funk.

I would do many many illegal things with it, let's just leave it at that.

I read this on the Beeb today. Humanity continues to pleasantly surprise me.

I think I read something about this awhile ago, except I think it was digital and captured a picture of the image behind showing it on the front and visa versa.

I'd just like to walk around places and not get bothered by annoying people.

Wow. Scientists have such awesome jobs... ¬_¬

Anything is possible with science, imagination, money, and time. The same can be said for corporation, government, and private misuse of such technology. Invisibility will bring in a wave of more negative use then positive I say. Some things shouldn't be developed.

lame i was expecting something more then a micrometer...

If I could cloak myself, I would totally not use it to spy on naked ladies.

>.>
<.<

I would also scare the living shit out of people. Thats always fun.

Let's just say that I'd be a very, very rich man.'

Also, messing with random people and scaring the living daylights out of them!

If you could stop time you wouldnt need to be invisible lets spend our tax Łon that instead =P

It's safe to say the military has had thing like this for a few years. That's all I'm saying though.

This would be awesome to have, though they would probably not be sold to the public for a long time, if at all. think of all the illegal activities people could/would use this for. they would at least have to have some way to track these "cloaks" to ensure they are put to good use.

Oh do i have idea for this piece of technology.

I thought it was already done, with a person-sized clothing. It used some cameras and some other things, but it made a person look transparent.

Wonderfull, nowi wonder what objects I own that are 10^-6 meters in length... I suppose I could hide a couple of skin cells.

Sunuvabitch!

Stole my prototype!

/rage

Something like that certainly would never be used for illegal purposes.

Greyfox105:
Hmmm... interesting... very interesting...
Possible applications for that kind of technology... hmmm...
But, if it fell into the wrong hands...

What do you mean 'if'?
Of course it'll fall into the wrong hands. Haven't video games taught you anything about cool technology?

D4zZ:
I think I read something about this awhile ago, except I think it was digital and captured a picture of the image behind showing it on the front and visa versa.

Yeah and like you say its been around for quite a while. Maybe they used eco friendly materials and thus its a new device here?

What would I do? ...
I think every male on the planet knows what I'd do.

I didn't know about the laser etching/engraving/whatever method, and this looks to use it in sort of a holographic way, interesting.

*runs in*

In before girls locker room!

*runs out*

Furburt:
I read this on the Beeb today. Humanity continues to pleasantly surprise me.

Ditto, McFurb. I just hope I live long enough to see something like this.
Hmm. If I'm in my 70's and they develop an invisibilty cloak, I'll steal the prototype and become a superhero..."Dirty Old Man Man!"

I heard about this before. They're called metamaterials and they are invisible to certain wavelengths. Some chinese lab made one completely invisible to microwaves last year.

All I can say is, porn would get ALOT better. And it's already pretty good! Bonus!

UnableToThinkOfName:

Ditto, McFurb. I just hope I live long enough to see something like this.
Hmm. If I'm in my 70's and they develop an invisibilty cloak, I'll steal the prototype and become a superhero..."Dirty Old Man Man!"

Ah, Gabriel, you never cease to make me laugh with your topical humour.

I thought the military was trying to develop one of these for covert ops since the late 80s?

I could finally take walks at night without fear of rape or assault!
Though I'd have to be extra careful when crossing streets...

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