Invisibility for material objects have been a scientific Rosetta Stone for the world’s military and space researchers for decades.
Now scientists might have discovered a way to achieve this in three dimensions of materiality:
The “cloak”, described in the journal Science, hid an object from detection using light of wavelengths close to those that are visible to humans.
Previous devices have been able to hide objects from light travelling in only one direction; viewed from any other angle, the object would remain visible.
This is a very early but significant step towards true invisibility cloaks.
Tolga Ergin, a scientist from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany led the study.
He told BBC News that his team’s cloak was based on the concept that you can “transform space” with a material.
He and his colleagues designed a photonic metamaterial, which influenced the behaviour of light rays.
“You can think of any transformation that you would like to have, and tailor your material to mimic this,” he explained.
The basis of the design is known as a “carpet cloak”. This was first proposed by Professor Sir John Pendry from Imperial College London, who also took part in this study.
“He proposed the theoretical design of having an object hidden under a bump and making the bump disappear,” said Mr Ergin.
“It’s like a carpet mirror,” he continued. “If you hide an object under it, there is a bump, so you see a distortion in the reflected image.
“We put the carpet cloak on top of that bump and it bends the light so that the distortions disappear.
“You have the impression that the mirror you’re looking at is flat.”
The trick is to change the speed and direction in which light travels through the material – that is, to change the material’s refractive index.
The researchers achieved by this using a polymer crystal made up of very tiny rods. “By changing the thickness of the rods, you can change the ratio of air to polymer,” explained Dr Ergin.
“Since the refractive index of air is about one and the refractive index of the polymer is about 1.52,” he explained, “in principle, we can get any refractive index between those two numbers,” he said.
By tailoring the refractive index of the surface of the bump, the scientists rendered it invisible to a wide range of light wavelengths slightly longer than those that we can see.
Watch for the Pentagon to issue Predator-type battle armor incorporating this within the next decade because I’m certain DARPA is already working on this!
Here’s a little something for the “no f*ckin’ way” department.
Via Rick Phillip’s Barf Stew:
Hello, welcome to Barf Stew – took a day off BS yesterday to find you the hot, up and out mixture of links you desire – and this one will NOT disappoint.http://denniswhitneyufo.blogspot.com/2010/03/mayan-pyramid-shoots-out-beam-of-light.htmlBarf Stew Tag. One helluva good blog too – tons and tons of content.
I don’t know whether I believe this sh*t or not, but if Rick Phillips finds it interesting, who am I to argue?