Invisibility cloakScientists are closer than ever to the development of the «invisibility cloak», which makes invisible to the eyes of the observer any object it covers.

The idea of an “invisibility cloak” first emerged in 2006 with an article in the Science journal written by physicist John Pedro of Imperial College London in collaboration with electrical engineers David Smith and David Schurig of Duke University (Durham NC, USA). Since then, many efforts have been undertaken in different parts of the world, with different materials (so-called “meta-materials”) and at different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Until now, the cloak has not been perfect, since the objects that were to be made invisible reflected a small part of the light. This time, a cylinder diameter of 7.5 cm height of one centimeter was made completely invisible in the microwave range.

Scientists at Duke University, led by Professor David Smith, make the light (microwaves) completely ‘slip’ around the covered object, which left no reflection and therefore no trace.

The “cloak” has a diamond shape and, as said David Smith said, “To our knowledge, is the first one that actually accomplishes complete invisibility, thus creating the perfect illusion for the observers.

But it will be hard to achieve something similar to the wavelength of visible light, which people see around them. However, invisibility in the microwave range can have several important practical applications, particularly in telecommunications and radar engineering, especially if the technology goes ahead (currently it works only in one direction).

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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