Apprentice

For Real!

By: Nigel Goodwin - Published: May 31, 2006 • References: azom
If this works, it'll be the greatest invention in history and the coolest gadget known to mankind.

Researchers at Duke University and Imperial College London have developed the blueprint for an invisibility cloak. The Harry Potter-style device would hide objects so well that they'd be undetectable to the human eye.

How on earth would that work? In short form, electromagnetic waves would flow around an object hidden inside the cloak just as water in a river flows around a smooth rock.

"The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space," said David R. Smith, Augustine Scholar and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School. "All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space."

Although the cloak is yet to be produced, the researchers are reportedly well on their way to producing the required metamaterials. In other words, this could actually work.

The uses are virtually limitless, from national defense to cloaking a building that blocks your view to, of course, spying on people.