Scientists in the UK have demonstrated a flexible film that represents a big step toward the "invisibility cloak" made famous by Harry Potter.
The film contains tiny structures that together form a "metamaterial", which can, among other tricks, manipulate light to render objects invisible.
Flexible metamaterials have been made before, but only work for light of a colour far beyond that which we see.
Physicists have hailed the approach a "huge step forward".
The bendy approach for visible light is reported in the New Journal of Physics.
Metamaterials work by interrupting and channelling the flow of light at a fundamental level; in a sense they can be seen as bouncing light waves around in a prescribed fashion to achieve a particular result.
But light waves can only be herded around by structures about the size of their wavelength - a property which is connected to their colour.
Until now, the most striking demonstrations of invisibility have occurred for light waves with a much longer wavelength than we can see. This is because it is simply easier to construct metamaterials with relatively large structures.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Invisibility cloak closer to reality.
Soon, women's locker room. Soon. Item!