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Invisibility - At Last!

posted Dec 3, 2013, 8:29 PM by Ellen Pearlman

Just in time for super surveillance drones, the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou has come up with a much needed app - invisibility! According to Professor Hongsheng Chen, "The design of the (invisibility) cloak involves extreme values of material properties and spatially dependent parameter tensors, which are very difficult to implement."  Yes, well, of course.


Watch my pencil disappear

The device produces invisibility only from certain angles. A hexagon cloaking device can only achieve invisible effect when seen from the corner angles and a polygon cloaking device can only achieve such effect when seen from two angles.


Bending light is fun!

In the past “invisibility cloaks” were made with micro- or nanoscale patterns that were made in labs and worked only with microwaves and other nonvisible forms of light. Baile Zhang, a professor at Nayang Technological University used a natural mineral, Calcite whose crystal structure resembles artificial nanoscale patterns. It only works with the correct which means using a “bath of laser oil.” It does not yet work with water or air.  


Invisibility being demonstrated at TED 2013

A video of these glued together Calcite crystals, shown at TED 2013 is here .