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Invisibility Cloaks Aren’t Just for Harry Potter

Here he demonstrates the cloaking box with a teddy bear and a toy cat:

 

 

Granted, this only works in a fixed location and only when the light is moving in a particular direction, but it’s still in its early phase, like all of these “Harry Potter” technologies. 

The next new invisibility cloak takes a different approach. Instead of trying to render an object invisible to the naked eye, researchers from the University of Toronto are looking into ways to make objects invisible to radar. This research, published in the journalPhysical Review X, isn’t concerned with optics. Instead researchers have created a “cloak” of small antennas that produce an electromagnetic field capable of cancelling out any radar waves that hit it. So far they have only tried it with a small object, but they say it could be scaled up to hide massive objects such as tanks (yay for military applications) or to make buildings that currently block cellphone transmissions “invisible” to the radio waves. 

The third new invisibility cloak comes from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. Their work, published inPhysical Review Letters, aims to beat all other such cloaks. They have developed a new ultrathin electronic system that they say could take an “active” role in invisibility. They say previous cloaks made items invisible only to particular wavelengths red light, for example making them “passive” systems. Their new system would be more adaptive to a wider range of situations.

Of course all of these systems are still in their infancy and require a lot more research. None of these “invisibility cloak” are likely to hit the market for years, which gives us all time to re-read the “Harry Potter” books and experience the real thing.

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by John Platt

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Kara, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

81 comments

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3:58AM PST on Dec 9, 2013

I remember reading something about this in USA Today back in 2005 or 2006ish. At the time they were figuring out ways to hide unsightly billboards that spoiled the countryside.

6:52PM PST on Nov 22, 2013

I think this is only going to lead to no good. Might lead to a way for people to hide weapons when entering an airport or other place. Bombs inside of luggage could be made invisible. This is not a good thing to develop.

9:36PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Not sure why this is on the care2 site as I can only imagine any of these to be used for military purposes.

6:44AM PST on Nov 18, 2013

This is a REALLY , HUGE added value study and discovery for the entire mankind!! This one of the things for which is justified use animals like living cats, as stressed by the article, to get the results. Shame !!

5:29PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

fascinating

11:08AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

9:48AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

may be good but will be used for nogood

9:48AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

very clever!

7:02AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Interesting. I agree that mis-use can be a dangerous thing, especially in times of war.Scary in many ways.

1:54AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Thanks.....interesting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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