The search for the perfect invisibility cloak lumbers onward, but that lumbering is starting to pick up speed. We're hearing more and more these days about metamaterials, the possibilities of time cloaking, and other such future-stuff. And today, from deep in the heart of Texas, we get another tantalizing finding: UT researchers have, for the first time, cloaked a three-dimensional object in free space. That is, no matter the angle of observation, the object was rendered invisible in 3-D.
So that's pretty huge. What we generally hear about when we hear about invisibility is some new trick with metamaterials that allows for cloaking in two-dimensions by bending light around some tiny object. This means that from a single side, the object is concealed. Take a walk around the object, and it reappears. Less like a cloak, more like an invisibility curtain.
The UT team used a different method, known as plasmonic cloaking, to conceal an 18-centimeter cylinder from every direction. This is true "cloaking," as the plasmonic material is actually coated onto the object to be concealed. These plasmonic materials work by doing the opposite of what normal materials do: reflecting light. When you see an object, it's because light is bouncing off of it and striking your eyes, which send that info on to the brain for processing. Plasmonic materials scatter light instead, producing what is essentially transparency from all angles of observation.
Ready for the attached strings? This has only been demonstrated with microwaves. In the visible range, the cylinder is still plenty visible. But the UT Austin team thinks that making this work in the visible spectrum isn't outside the realm of possibility. And if they can pull that off, you'll know it because it will be leading the news here. In previous studies the team has shown that its plasmonic coating can cloak any object regardless of shape or symmetry. If they can sort this out in visible light, we may someday be able render just about anything invisible.
Time Cloaking.... LOL :D Humans still haven't grasped how badly we've/'they've' fooled ourselves/themselves...
PS: For what else than griveous military murder or hiding has this any applications?? 0
Imagine a power plant in the middle of a city "hidden" to the citizens. This could lower the visual footprint of something that we don't want to see...power towers in the country, maybe cell towers or windmills. You'd see it at certain angles or you could turn it off for maintenance.
There are lots of things we'd like to hide that aren't all that sinister.
I would imagine this could be useful for solar farms to be placed where they wouldn't be able to normally, like in the middle of a city. If you coat adjacent buildings you'd get much more useful light through.
Another use for cloaking technology is in astronomy, on radio telescopes and other parabolic dishes that focus on a center receiver there may be some fractional gains to cloaking the supports for the receiver.
Neither of these require full spectrum cloaking either, although a cloaked city might be fun to see.
C--, regarding your comment "PS: For what else than griveous military murder or hiding has this any applications?" Have you somehow overlooked corporate greed and exploitation of the middle class? Where there is a will, there is a way! I would insert a "LOL" here but it sadly is the truth and no laughing matter.
I will never understand why so many nutjobs are attracted to this website.
When I saw the title :D
When I saw the sub-text: D:
After I read the article: :D
I can't wait for this to come from microwaves to the visible light spectrum. Imagine all the applications! Outside of military, that is.
I can't see what is so important about this article!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
Really, I just don't see it!
May we see a video taken from a microwave-spectrumed video camera that is shot outside of the lab?
I'm assuming the whole Wonder Woman joke has been done to death on this, but I couldn't resist. Plus, plasmonic meta-materials are pretty darn cool, and have lots of other uses than masking microwave radiation. We're going to be seeing a lot of this in the near future. My imagination's running wild with it. Not sure if invisible clothes would be a good idea or bad... www.scienceforfiction.com
Ah - right - here's the permalink: http://scienceforfiction.com/2012/01/26/wonder-woman-your-invisible-plane-is-ready/
I'm kind of interested in the sonic bullets too...
what if i injected this into my bloodstream? would it stick into my dna and multiply? sort of like that one movie "hollow man" where the main character goes around stalking women and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff.
"religion is like a prison for the seekers of wisdom"
you would probably die. that and you would need a modified virus to mass modify dna.
Couple months late on an Article on this type of Tech. Better late then never to look in to this Hope you keep following it.
Since matter reflects lights, could it be assumed that anti-matter would do the opposite? Maybe that's the true invisibility cloak "material"....
The important application for this research would be to "hide" the tips of very fine precision instruments (ie. telescopes and microscopes) when looking through very powerful lenses at tiny specks of "stuff". There are some possitive things that do go in the world, it is not ALL negative.