We're one step closer to the stuff of sci-fi and boy wizards. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have engineered a metamaterial with a refined 3-D structure that gives light a negative refraction index upon entering the material. Put another way, it bends light the opposite way one might expect, irrespective of the angle or polarization of incoming light waves. Put yet another way: We're getting closer to that invisibility cloak we've been looking for.
Invisibility cloaks continue to taunt us in 2010 with their promise of Harry Potter-style shenanigans. But New Scientist points to a new proposal that consists of silver-coated nanoparticles floating in water. Such nanoparticles would self-assemble into chains that are controllable by magnetic fields of different strengths, Chinese scientists say -- at least in theory.
Disaster film director Roland Emmerich must be quaking in his boots knowing that his movies may soon have to be a little less destructive. With the invention of an "invisibility cloak" for buildings, earthquake damage could be significantly minimized. Using a series of concentric rings in the foundation of a building, this "cloak" directs seismic waves around a building, rather than destructively against and through it.
Ouch, Harry Potter. Your new movie doesn't premiere for two months, yet real scientists are already one-upping you
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Cornell University both said last week they've designed invisibility cloaks that work in the visible-light spectrum. OK, so they're not big enough to cover a budding young wizard sneaking around at night, but hey, it's a step.
It's like something out of a science fiction novel or a Harry Potter book. Engineers from Duke University have constructed a device that can "cloak" items placed on a mirror surface.
First designed in 2006, the new version of the device is a more sophisticated and complicated design that can cloak a wider variety of waves.
New materials developed at Berkeley bend light in unnatural -- almost supernatural -- ways
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 08.14.2008 at 1:31 pm 12 Comments
Ever wished you could have Harry Potter's invisibility cloak? Science, not magic, could make that a reality. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have created materials that have the potential to bend light and even redirect it around themselves, cloaking any object behind them. They are metamaterials, materials that gain unusual properties via their structures. While all materials found in nature have a positive refractive index, these man-made metamaterials have a negative one.
Invisibility is a staple of science fiction, from H.G. Wells to Romulans. Now scientists see a way to make objects disappear
By JR MinkelPosted 09.27.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a video simulation of an invisibility-equipped Aston Martin. And for a timeline detailing the history of innovations in the science of invisitbility, click 'View Photos' at left.
WHAT: A way to make objects invisible. The trick is to use metamaterial, a complex hybrid structure of metal and insulator that makes light move around an object like air flowing over an airplane wing.