Real invisibility cloaks are coming!
This is something straight out of the movies, you guys. The Harry Potter movies, to be specific. University of Central Florida Assistant Professor, Debashis Chanda, is leading a team of researchers in light bending technology that could make an invisibility cloak a reality.
Here’s the gist of the invisibility in real person (not science person) terms. Basically what Chanda has figured out is that you can bend light around an object and the bending of the light will make the object appear invisible. Right now, there’s a downside, though; Chanda and his team have only been able to bend light at about a tenth of the size of a human hair. The team is also working on bending the light of the entire visible spectrum, not just the red and blue.
Now the science person terms, directly from Chanda himself:
“The nanotransfer printing technique creates metal/dielectric composite films, which are stacked together in a 3-D architecture with nanoscale patterns for operation in the visible spectral range. Control of electromagnetic resonances over the 3-D space by structural manipulation allows precise control over propagation of light. Following this technique, larger pieces of this special material can be created, which were previously limited to micron-scale size.
By improving the technique, the team hopes to be able to create larger pieces of the material with engineered optical properties, which would make it practical to produce for real-life device applications. For example, the team could develop large-area metamaterial absorbers, which would enable fighter jets to remain invisible from detection systems.”
So, there’s that.
According to Chanda, a full-sized invisibility cloak is about five years away. Totally worth waiting for, I think.