New invisibility cloak hides objects from human view

For the first time, scientists have devised an invisibility cloak material that hides objects from detection using light that is visible to humans. The new device is a leap forward in cloaking materials, according to a report in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Xiang Zhang and colleagues note that invisibility cloaks, which route electromagnetic waves around an object to make it undetectable, "are still in their infancy." Most cloaks are made of materials that can only hide things using microwave or infrared waves, which are just below the threshold of human vision. To remedy this, the researchers built a reflective "carpet cloak" out of layers of and etched in a special pattern. The carpet cloak works by concealing an object under the layers, and bending light waves away from the bump that the object makes, so that the cloak appears flat and smooth like a normal mirror.

Although the study cloaked a microscopic object roughly the diameter of a , the device demonstrates that it may be "capable of cloaking any object underneath a reflective carpet layer. In contrast to the previous demonstrations that were limited to infrared light, this work makes actual invisibility for the light seen by the human eye possible," the scientists write.


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Invisibility carpet cloak can hide objects from visible light

More information: Nano Lett., 2011, 11 (7), pp 2825–2828 DOI: 10.1021/nl201189z
Citation: New invisibility cloak hides objects from human view (2011, July 27) retrieved 24 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-invisibility-cloak-human-view.html
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