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.
German-based Toptica Photonics could brag about all the global scientific and industrial applications for its precision lasers, including those by a dozen Nobel laureates in physics. “We have the best right here in Rochester,” President Mark Tolbert said.
The Obama administration announced Friday that it would establish an Institute for Manufacturing Innovation on photonics, or the science of using light in everything from advanced manufacturing to transmitting data. The industry and related fields such as optics and imaging already account for an estimated 17,000 jobs in this region.
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?
Everyone from Harry Potter to working physicists are fascinated with cloaking devices. Now, researchers at at the University of Rochester have used simple, inexpensive, off-the-shelf components to hide objects in the visible spectrum of light. In other words, now you see it; now you don’t.
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.”
Scientists have recently developed several ways—some simple and some involving new technologies—to hide objects from view. The latest effort, developed by physics professor John Howell and graduate student Joseph Choi, not only overcomes some limitations of previous devices, but uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a new way. “This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking,” said Choi.