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Bending Light is the Latest Breakthrough

 - Aug 12, 2008
An invisibility cloak seems to reach the viral media every few months.  Some of these cloaks have involved simple projectors, while others have involved clever camouflage paint.

This time, researchers at Berkeley have developed an invisibility cloak that makes objects disappear by bending light.  The effect is similar to the way that a straw appears bent when dipped into a glass of water.

The researchers have only created their invisibility cloak prototypes on a nano scale, but they believe the technology could be applied on a larger scale - large enough to hide people.

The BBC noted, "Previous efforts have shown this negative refraction effect using microwaves—a wavelength far longer than humans can see.  The new materials instead work at wavelengths around those used in the telecommunications industry—much nearer to the visible part of the spectrum."

In short, real invisibility cloaks might be close on the horizon.

In addition to boosting your shoplifting career, the bending of light could be used to make better microscopes.

The Berkeley research was funded by the U.S. Army Research Office (no surprise there...) and the National Science Foundation’s Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center.

Here are some more posts about invisibility and camouflage design: