Using lenses and meta-materials, science is finding new ways to bend or reroute light. Like Harry Potter’s cloak or H.G. Wells’ chemical concoction, it could make an object impossible to see.
Scientists at the University of Rochester invented an actual cloaking device that will make objects disappear.
This is not a joke. You can buy a cloaking device for $49. The catch? It’s not wearable. The cloaking device consists of a series of four lenses that bend light around 3D objects so they appear invisible.
How about an IRL Invisibility Cloak? No, seriously, someone invented it. OK, so its not exactly a cloak. Its more like a series of four lenses that keep objects hidden from multiple angles. But it exists, it works and its kind of amazing.
Up until this year, most researchers had some success cloaking parts of the light spectrum not visible to the human eye. They found a way to hide a 3-D object from magnetic waves, cloak sound, hide metal objects from a magnetic field and make an entire city impervious to the seismic waves from an earthquake.
After months of media attention, researchers from the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics (USA) have published their design for a low-tech broadband cloaking device from common lenses.
We’re still a long way from donning real invisibility cloaks, but by working out a better way to bend light, scientists from the University of Rochester can make movable objects invisible to the viewer — multi-directionally, and in three dimensions.
BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly looks at some of the best of the week’s technology – including how scientists at the University of Rochester are using a series of lenses to create a form of invisibility and plans to turn the game Tetris into a film.
Could this be the invention that every Harry Potter fan has been waiting for? Nerds the world over are going gaga for a so called invisibility cloak. It uses lenses to make light pass around an object so it looks like it isn’t there. To tell us about the breakthrough we have the creator of the invisibility cloak, Professor John Howell with the University of Rochester. Can you talk us through how this works?
It’s like a very small invisibility cloak made of glass. Researchers at the University of Rochester seem to be taking the words of science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s to heart: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”