Tuesday, 03 Apr, 2007 Science

Invisibility is now one step closer


Using the nanotechnology scientists were able to make a significant step towards inventing an "optical cloaking", which represents a device able to make objects invisible. The device guides light around anything that is placed withing the so-called "cloak".

The engineers at Purdue University have followed mathematical guidelines that were devised last year by the UK physicists to create a theoretical design, which in its turn uses an array of very small needles. The latter radiate from a central spoke outwards.

The theoretical design looks like a round hairbrush. It would bend around any object that is "cloaked". Those objects that are situated in the background will be visible but the ones that are cloaked not. Vladimir Shalaev, the university's Robert and Anne Burnett Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, mentioned that the invisibility of the cloaked objects is provided by the cylindrical array of nano-needles.

Despite all the upper mentioned advantages, the theoretical design, however, according to Shalaev, has one significant limitation: it is can function only for a single wavelength. Thus it cannot work for the whole frequency range of the visible spectrum.

According to the calculations made by the researchers the device can make any object invisible if it is in a wavelength of 632.8 nanometers. This wavelength corresponds to the color red.

Shalaev says that it is quite possible to develop a design able to work for all colors of visible light. This, however, currently represents a big challenge for the scientists. "In principle, this cloak could be arbitrarily large, as large as a person or an aircraft", he said. This nanotechnological research is based at the Discovery Park of the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue.

In 2006 several researchers published their findings on optical cloaking device. Shalaev mentioned that the mathematical requirements for the device were quite general, which is why together with his team he thought of fulfilling the requirements with a concrete and specific design.

Shalaev stated that his team is able to cloak objects regardless of their size. For this, however, scientists need two fulfill two requirements: one is that the light must not reflect off of the object and the second requirements is that the light must surround the whole object in a way so people would see only the background and not the object that is cloaked.

In case only the first requirement is fulfilled than you would to see a dark shape of the object, thus it would be clear that something was there. The most difficult task is to satisfy the second requirement, that is to bend the light around the cloaked object. When it is done you will see only the background. The whole device is made of, what scientists say, non-magnetic metamaterials.

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19 votes

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42 votes

//13 Mar 15, 2011 11:59 AM | posted by: Gen017 [InfoWILD]
it is impossible..!! invisibility..??
52 votes

//11 Dec 05, 2010 01:04 AM | posted by: emmanuel
How can people use this so-called 'cloak'?
Doing this will raise up crime rates because people will not see the suspects and also there will not be any trace of the suspects. So I'm advising you scientist to make extra cautions about this project
43 votes

//10 Oct 27, 2010 02:27 PM | posted by: joy
what the .. !!
47 votes

//9 Oct 04, 2009 03:08 PM | posted by: krishna jaiswal
thanks for the inforformation
44 votes

//8 Jun 07, 2009 05:15 AM | posted by: Laarni
Maybe, you can use theconcept of index of refraction where two materials should have the same index of refraction so there will be no bending of light.
46 votes

//7 Feb 12, 2008 11:39 PM | posted by: me again me
@ sakthi
Hey, as a science student, would you probably like to MAKE A REASEARCH OF YOUR OWN and not wait for someone to send all the info t your mail, ha?
49 votes

//6 Feb 12, 2008 09:20 AM | posted by: sakthi
hello this sakthi,
if it s possible i need all latest findings to my
mail, as being science student i like to know it.
47 votes

//5 Apr 05, 2007 01:49 AM | posted by: Tha Man
Dont you guys get it ??? The most obvious and time effective solution is simply to ask the Romulans from Star Trek how they got theres to work .... duhhhh
35 votes

//4 Apr 05, 2007 12:53 AM | posted by: Bruce McGoose
Another lol at the "this is retarded" post.

You think we make progress by getting a perfect solution straight away? Of course not.
We have to make what we can, get a better understanding of the technology, and then update.

I take it you'd be one of the morons against the development of computers or television back in the day. Afterall.. they worked pretty half arsed at first..
39 votes

//3 Apr 04, 2007 02:33 PM | posted by: Lol!
lol at previous post 'this is retarded'
if it mirrored the properties of glass it would be the opposite eg opaque - pointless. i presume you mean if it had the same properties as glass - in that case it would make it the same as glass, see through, you'd still see the object you were trying to cloak behind it though... you have to bend the light theres no way around it.
48 votes

//2 Apr 04, 2007 11:00 AM | posted by: webocure [InfoKID]
Just a thought but... Would the object still cast a shadow from light sources? Theoretically it's still "there" but just not visible. Would seriously put a wrench in the gears there.

Terrorist (probably?):Hey boss they got stealthers! What do we do?
Boss: Shoot their shadows.
*stealther falls over as the bullets keep pouring in, can't see the blood so never know if its dead o_O*

And of course this will shortly be in ruin when more sophisticated heat sensory is available. Nor would it stop sound alarms. *shrug* Seems pointless. Could cloak your car. Then have some idiot drive into it thinking it was an empty spot. Woot?
43 votes

//1 Apr 02, 2007 11:00 AM | posted by: grumbler [InfoMANIAC]
This is retarded. Scientist always tackle these problems headon from the wrong angle. Their trying to create a field that makes everything under it invisible? Like a multi-billion dollar set of the old Red-Blue 3D Glasses. Look through the Blue one and hide the Blue lines!!! /joy!

They need to focus on manipulating the reflective properties of material, rather than trying to hide them. If you can "mirror" the properties of glass (pun not intended) then you wouldn't have to worry about hitting that "2nd requirement".

Stop wasting time on something that's only gonna work half-asses... IF you can even get it to work.

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