Thursday, August 14, 2008

Breakthrough in Invisibility Cloak Technology

Horror stories almost always have this angle about the unseen. Remember Predator and Hollow Man? Well, science now seems to mirror fiction as scientists have revealed that they are closing in on nano technology materials construction which would allow Harry Potter's invisibility cloak or the Predator's cloaking device to be a reality.

One method being studied is stacking nano-scale stacks of silver and magnesium fluoride in a mesh. Another used nanometer-sized silver wires. Either way, the methods are supposed to make the material neither absorb or reflect light. Light will simply be bent around the object like water moving around a rock in a stream. That would make it appear that the background of the object passes through it.

Professor Ortwin Hess of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey says, "It's a careful choice of the right materials and the right structuring to get this effect for the first time at these wavelengths."

Apart from a Harry Potter style invisibility cloak, the new material can also have practical uses for microscopy and cloaking devices. These things are likely to be a reality soon, but chances are, we won't see them come to light - they'd be invisible.

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