(PCM) No, this is not April Fool’s Day! Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have revealed that they are one step closer to creating an actual working cloak of invisibility. This definitely sounds like news that is straight out of a science fiction novel, however the university claims that they were successfully able to “cloak” a tennis-ball shaped object with a nanocomposite medium.
The scientists claim that they have created a material that allows protruding areas of an object appear flat to any sort of electromagnetic waves. The material they created can essentially mask or “cloak” an object that normally would have cause the electromagnetic waves to scatter in various directions.
The lead scientist on the project, Yan Hao, comments “We demonstrated a practical possibility to use nanocomposites to control surface wave propagation through advanced additive manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly, the approach used can be applied to other physical phenomena that are described by wave equations, such as acoustics. For this reason, we believe that this work has a great industrial impact.”
We think this could definitely have some major benefits, but it is also a little bit scary, as you never know what could be hiding behind a “cloak of invisibility” leaving us fairly vulnerable to the unknown. There is a still a lot more research and experimentation yet to occur, so we probably don’t have to worry about such things for quite a while, but needless to say, it is a pretty fascinating idea.