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Group creates invisibility cloak

Major step forward for developing technology

Invisibility cloak

Love stuff like this – A team of researchers out of Duke University have developed a garment that makes it possible to conceal a small object and have it be entirely invisible to everyone around it.

The way in which they were able to complete this sorcery is by using a row-by-row design of fiberglass etched with copper and two-foot square copper strips. They form a diamond shape, leaving the center empty. Doing this, the group found, allows the device to bend light around an object so that it looks invisible to microwaves and the naked eye.

Duke invisibility cloak
^Duke student Nathan Landy holding technology he worked on that could one day lead to full invisibility cloak^

This development is a big step forward in the invisible cloak technology field — yes, such a field does exist. The last major breakthrough came in 2006 with a prototype that, due to issues with the fabrication process, continued to reflect light around the edges of the concealed object, which allowed it to still be partially visible.

Now, before we begin thinking of creepy ways to use this garment, there are some drawbacks with where the technology stands today. For one, it’s only able to conceal objects smaller than one of our portable speakers — so small, in fact, that they’re not able to be seen by the naked eye in the first place. What’s more, their success with the cloak has only been in wavelengths longer than what the eye can see; that is, wavelengths like radio, microwave, and infrared. Additionally, their design — as it stands today — can only work when facing one direction, meaning that if you were to look at it from the side, you’d be able to see it.

But let’s not poo-poo their idea completely here — this is impressive stuff and a step in the right direction. The team plans to next work on a cloak capable of creating a fully three-dimensional illusion.

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