Straight Out Of Harry Potter: Researchers Develop Invisibility Cloak

Researchers from the University of Texas have successfully developed an invisibility cloak. The “cloak” doesn’t actually make anything invisible, at least not to our eyes.

However, the device does make its wearer invisible to microwaves. And this time, unlike previous “cloaking” concepts, this one isn’t a giant, desk-bound machine. In fact, you can actually wear this invisibility cloak.

Most cloaking devices are made possible through the use of metamaterials. Metamaterials are materials engineered to be unlike anything found in nature. And while this might sound like most things made by man, the properties of many metamaterials are unnatural at a tiny, often microscopic level. Metamaterials’ precise and highly organized structures, not the actual material they’re made out of, allow them to interact with energy waves in unconventional ways. Some metamaterials are even able to divert certain types of energy around an object.

In the case of the Texan invisibility cloak, the researchers used conventional materials to cloak objects from microwaves.They created what they call a “metascreen,” using two hyper thin layers, one 66µm-thick and made of copper and one 100µm-thick and made of flexible polycarbonate, reported Extreme Tech. They attached this cloak to an 18-cm cylinder, which, when conformed to the cylinder’s shape, rendered it invisible to microwaves.

Is there anything special about microwave cloaking? Actually, there is. Most radar installations emit microwave energy, so something shielded from this energy wavelength could be used in stealth applications for ships and planes.

Since all energy is inherently the same (only different in the shape of their waves), this technology could be scaled up or down to shield the object from different forms of light energy, even within the visible spectrum.

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