We're One Step Closer to a True Invisibility Cloak

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We're One Step Closer to a True Invisibility Cloak

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Science completely hides a 3D object for the first time.

Who doesn't love it when fantasy and science fiction tropes become a reality? Well, guess what, the invisibility cloak isn't just for Harry Potter and Star Trek anymore. Previous attempts at such a technology have relied on covering an object with a "metamaterial" that would bend microwave light. The technique created an effect that rendered most object undetectable, but a new technique has emerged that accomplishes the same effect without the use of metamaterials. A group led by Dr. Rainwater at the University of Texas published a paper in the New Journal of Physics proving it is possible to tailor a free-standing cloak to render a 18 cm cylinder invisible.

"[The cylinder] is a real object standing in our lab, and it basically disappears," said the spokesperson for the group, Professor Andrea Alu.

The science of the experiment is a little hard to grasp, but I'll give it a whirl. Instead of covering the object with an actual "cloak" of metamaterial that bends light, the Texas teams devised a "shell" that has the exact opposite properties of the object. The shell cancels out the actual object so that it remains undetectable.

"We realize a shell that scatters [light] by itself, but the interesting point is that if you combine the shell with the object inside, the two counter out and the object becomes completely invisible," Alu said.

Don't go counting on buying an invisible car in 2020; there are still a lot of bugs to work out. The exact design of the "shell" would need to be different for each object, and the technique won't work with light in the visual spectrum, only on a microwave level. Still, there is a lot to be excited about using a "plasmonic" approach to cloaking technology.

"There is still a lot of work to do," Alu said. "Our goal was just to show this plasmonic technique can reduce scattering from an object in free space. But if I had to bet in five years what kind of cloaking technique might be used for applications, for practical purposes, then I would say plasmonic cloaking is a good bet."

Source: New Journal of Physics via BBC

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Heeey...! Another step towards Ghost in the Shell world: Thermoptic Camouflage!

FalloutJack:
Heeey...! Another step towards Ghost in the Shell world: Thermoptic Camouflage!

That you have to be nude for, YEAH!

This is pretty cool. I also saw a YouTube vid of tank armor that can disguise itself under night vision observation - changing its appearance to look like an SUV or become completely invisible.

An invisible car would be a nightmare.

SnakeoilSage:

FalloutJack:
Heeey...! Another step towards Ghost in the Shell world: Thermoptic Camouflage!

That you have to be nude for, YEAH!

But isn't that the whole point of being invisible anyway?

weirdguy:
But isn't that the whole point of being invisible anyway?

I know I'D want to be invisible if I were naked in public.

The applications for this are both frightening and amazing... and not for the reasons you're thinking right now.
On another note, has anyone made any progress in the area of superpowers yet or was that jellyfish thing not followed up?

Also:
image

wow lasers, moon satelment (promises at least) and now invicibility!
all those things just in 1 day!!!

Zachary Amaranth:
An invisible car would be a nightmare.

Instead of "Now where did I leave my car keys?" you would have "Now where did I leave my car?"

NLS:

Zachary Amaranth:
An invisible car would be a nightmare.

Instead of "Now where did I leave my car keys?" you would have "Now where did I leave my car?"

"Dude, where's my car?"

MisterM2402:

NLS:

Zachary Amaranth:
An invisible car would be a nightmare.

Instead of "Now where did I leave my car keys?" you would have "Now where did I leave my car?"

"Dude, where's my car?"

oh that film was a prophecy then?

Nano-suit anyone?

great one step close to invisible tanks,snipers and airplanes.... just imagine the horror of the idea that there is an invisible tank 3 foot/meter away from you, aiming at you...

I love the fact you left out the bit where they mentioned that the object was still completely visible.

danirax:
great one step close to invisible tanks,snipers and airplanes.... just imagine the horror of the idea that there is an invisible tank 3 foot/meter away from you, aiming at you...

Mirage tanks, anyone?

I would point out however this only works for stationary objects, if the object moves you have Doppler effects to worry about and the shell won't produce an exact cancellation in that circumstance, also in the case of a car/person/tank the shape of the object changes through different functions so it would require the shell to move in the exact same manor. Plus there is the whole going from a few centimetre wavelengths to a few hundred nanometre wavelengths to worry about. Still it's progress.

*Ahem*

image

Gentlemen?

Light diffusion does sound the way to go though - it blocks the obvious problems of rendering the retina invisible - thus blinding someone.

a nice display of refractive science, you can use the same concept at home if you want to wow some friends

there's a very old science experiment where you put a glass into a tub of glycerol and because they both have the exact same refractive property's when you look through it you can no longer see the glass
it's just a unification of the transmitted light, or a lens that happens to have the same inverse refractive property's, you can see this here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNWCB_GoQA4

i know what your thinking, but it's completely legit i promise.

it's also possible to do this with more complex shapes, as-long as they have the same refractive index:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anJuZdL_vsw&feature=fvwp&NR=1

it would be amazing if we could apply this to any object, as the article seems to suggest
plasmonic cloaking could really revolutionise allot of sciences and technology's
and also be really really cool.

How, exactly, would cloaking make our lives better? In sci-fi, it's mostly used to spy and kill people. I can't think of a single moment in my life where I've said: "Gee, you know what would be better than me seeing that object? Not being able to see that object."

The_root_of_all_evil:

*Ahem*

image

Gentlemen?

Light diffusion does sound the way to go though - it blocks the obvious problems of rendering the retina invisible - thus blinding someone.

What's the bet that he's got a cloak and dagger rather than a standard invis watch?

ResonanceSD:

What's the bet that he's got a cloak and dagger rather than a standard invis watch?

The Invisibility cloak will be nerfed 3 weeks after release anyway.

ResonanceSD:

danirax:
great one step close to invisible tanks,snipers and airplanes.... just imagine the horror of the idea that there is an invisible tank 3 foot/meter away from you, aiming at you...

Mirage tanks, anyone?

Apocalypse Tanks are better they can crush Mirage tanks as they pass over them even if they are invisible...

The_root_of_all_evil:

ResonanceSD:

What's the bet that he's got a cloak and dagger rather than a standard invis watch?

Y'know, I never noticed the eyeball stalks are actually connect to the bits of brain that go flying. It always happened too fast in the video for me to catch. Nice attention to detail by Valve.

OT: ....Dr. Rainwater? Seriously?

danirax:

ResonanceSD:

danirax:
great one step close to invisible tanks,snipers and airplanes.... just imagine the horror of the idea that there is an invisible tank 3 foot/meter away from you, aiming at you...

Mirage tanks, anyone?

Apocalypse Tanks are better they can crush Mirage tanks as they pass over them even if they are invisible...

the funny thing is, this is so true to life, the size and complexity of a stealthed vehicle means compared to 'dumb armour' systems they are extremely vaulnerable if you do manage to detect them or surprise attack them ( think seismic / pressure sensitive landmines, artillery in combination )

also cost. you could bankrupt nations using stealth tanks or just flatten an enemy with a proven platform such as a gunship / long-range artillery or cruise missile

if you really want to blow all that money just stealth your cruise missiles and launch them from submarines
who could oppose that?
hell how would you know who attacked you even?

scary crap when you think about it!

One step closer to invisibility, and one step closer to developing cyborg Ninja's. Cmon people, i can't honestly have been the only one who is thinking of possibly using this technology for cyborg ninja's can I?

Infernai:
One step closer to invisibility, and one step closer to developing cyborg Ninja's. Cmon people, i can't honestly have been the only one who is thinking of possibly using this technology for cyborg ninja's can I?

Real ninjas don't need technology to be invisible...

Awesome, gotta love science. Now TF2 spy cos-players can go all the way!

NLS:

Zachary Amaranth:
An invisible car would be a nightmare.

Instead of "Now where did I leave my car keys?" you would have "Now where did I leave my car?"

To the inivisble boatmobile!

WHAT... WHAT'S WITH THESE GUYS?

... IT'S LIKE ONE OF MY JAPANESE ANIMES...

LilithSlave:
This is going to be very helpful for Snake.

Maybe, but I doubt he'll bother before the cardboard box stops working. Much cheaper.

HobbesMkii:
How, exactly, would cloaking make our lives better? In sci-fi, it's mostly used to spy and kill people. I can't think of a single moment in my life where I've said: "Gee, you know what would be better than me seeing that object? Not being able to see that object."

Because you know, this has no implications for military use what-so-ever.

I doubt they will make any type of invisibility cloak or implication for general public use in awhile.

But to answer your question, it could get you out of that really awkward date without him/her being all the wiser.

Adam Jensen:
Nano-suit anyone?

HELL YES

Now all we need is strength, speed, & mobility enhancements

Zachary Amaranth:
An invisible car would be a nightmare.

xD proven in Megamind! xDDD

LilithSlave:
WHAT... WHAT'S WITH THESE GUYS?

... IT'S LIKE ONE OF MY JAPANESE ANIMES...

Japanese animes? do you have any other the closest I know of is Avatar but that's still a cartoon
same with Korean cartoons like Yobi, The five tailed fox which I'd recommend btw

LilithSlave:
WHAT... WHAT'S WITH THESE GUYS?

... IT'S LIKE ONE OF MY JAPANESE ANIMES...

Haha! Metal Gear Reference, and here i was thinking i'd be the only one this thread to actually drop one. Nice to see another one around here though, can never have enough metal gear references in my opinion.

So much do want... Invisibility? A dream come true? YES PLEASE!

ResonanceSD:

danirax:
great one step close to invisible tanks,snipers and airplanes.... just imagine the horror of the idea that there is an invisible tank 3 foot/meter away from you, aiming at you...

Mirage tanks, anyone?

Oh, hey look, there's a cow grazing just behind meOHMIGODITSAFUCKINGTANK!

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