Thursday, August 14, 2008

Invention (Of The Future?) Spotlight: The Invisibility Cloak

Two teams of scientists working with funding provided by th U.S. government, have discovered a way to render three-dimensional objects invisible. The groups of scientists, who are headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley, have utilized metamaterials to create a new type of material that can bend light in the wrong direction. The reversal of light wavelengths can nullify the eye's ability to visualize objects.

By creating a light bending material, the crafty scientists have completed the first step for manufacturing an invisibility cloak. Some people are worried about the military implications that can accompany the presence of such a cloak. However, the scientists working on the project say that the cloak may still be a little ways off.

According to "The Independent," one of the scientist working with the University of California groups has stated: "Immediate applications might be superior optical devices, or perhaps a microscope that could see a living virus. We are not actually cloaking anything. I don't think we have to worry about invisible people walking around any time soon. To be honest, we are just at the beginning of doing anything like that. However, cloaking may be something that this material could be used for in the future. You'd have to wrap whatever you wanted to cloak in the material. It would just send light around it. By sending light around the object that is to be cloaked, you don't see it."

Details on this world-changing invention will reportedly be released in Nature and Science journals in the very near future.

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