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May 25, 2006

Cloaking Device... Within 18 Months?

This is an article about a different style of cloaking device than the "superlens" technique I linked a few weeks back. This one is more like a chameleon cloak.

Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called "metamaterials" to build a cloak.

These metamaterials can be designed to induce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves, such as light. This is done by tinkering with the nano-scale structure of the metamaterial, not by altering its chemistry.

Pssst, Instapundit-- Nano-scale!

John Pendry's team suggest that by enveloping an object in a metamaterial cloak, light waves can be made to flow around the object in the same way that water would do so.

...

Special materials could make light "flow" around an object like water.

The work provides a mathematical "recipe" for bending light waves in such a way as to achieve a desired cloaking effect.

...

"What you're trying to do is guide light around an object, but the art is to bend it such that it leaves the object in precisely the same way that it initially hits it. You have the illusion that there is nothing there," he told the BBC's Science in Action programme.


Another Article: Similar fare, though it makes the distinction between a radar-invisible cloak (18 months with proper funding) and full-spectrum-invisibility (5 years).

Wow. Won't happen, of course, but at least we're at the age when we're making predictions like this.


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posted by Ace at 09:44 PM

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