November 12, 2012
The days when invisibility cloaks were confined to the world of “Harry Potter” may soon be over. Physicists at Duke University announced Monday that they had successfully cloaked an object with “perfect” invisibility.
Attempts at creating an invisibility “cloak” began in 2006, when David Smith (also a co-author of the new study) and colleagues developed theory of “transformation optics,” BBC News reported. The theory centers on redirecting electromagnetic fields around an object, rendering it invisible, ScienceNOW reported.
No effort had achieved “perfect” invisibility until Dr. Smith and graduate student Nathan Landy modified earlier cloak models with composite structures known as metamaterials. These materials can be designed to bend light and other electromagnetic radiation around them.
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