Invisibility Cloak One Step Closer To Reality, Or: Is It Too Early To Start Staking Out A Comfy Place To Sit In The Women's Locker Room?

November 4, 2010


Yes, that really is me with my invisibility helmet on. I know, I know, I probably should have made a whole suit. Anyway, UK scientists claim they're one step closer to an invisibility cloak thanks to a new flexible metamaterial. Pfft -- I'll believe it when I don't see it.

Scientists in the UK have demonstrated a flexible film that represents a big step toward the "invisibility cloak" made famous by Harry Potter.

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.

However, the laws of optics have it that light waves can only be manipulated in this way by structures that are about as large as the waves' length.

Until now, the most striking demonstrations of invisibility have occurred for light waves with a much longer wavelength - a far redder colour - than we can see. This is because it is simply easier to construct metamaterials with relatively large structures.

UGH -- HARRY POTTER DID NOT MAKE INVISIBILITY CLOAKS FAMOUS. That's like saying that other writer-lady (who's name I won't even take the time to look up) made vampires famous. They've both been popular forever! I was a vampire for Halloween 22 years ago. And 14 years ago I made a bench costume out of cardboard and hid in the women's locker room before being squashed by a fat lady with a really hairy bush. *shivers* It felt like a Brillo pad on the back of my neck.

Invisibility cloak closer with flexible 'metamaterial' [bbc]

Thanks to brook, Jennaiii, Rev Dr Dom and Super Awesome To The Max, who agree commercially available invisibility cloaks will cause over a 100% decrease in worldwide productivity.

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