For all those who are under the Harry Potter spell, scientists have confirmed that the invisibility cloak is now a reality. Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have published that they have been successful in creating an ultra-thin invisibility cloak made from microscopic rectangular gold blocks that manipulates light.
The cloak can be wrapped around any object to make it invisible to the naked eye. The blocks act like skin and cling to the shape of the object underneath so that it can remain undetected using visible light.
The Details Revealed
Published in Science journal, the study also suggested that while these experiments involved cloaking small objects as of now, there will be tests on larger and more real objects so that the technology can be put to use even on a military scale.
Specs of the invisible cloak
What we know so far is that the cloak is 80 nanometres thick. Also, the surface of the cloak can reroute light waves scattered onto it to hide the object underneath. It could take five years or even a decade for this technology to be put to practical use, says Xiang Zhang, Director, Materials Sciences Division of US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
At the experimentation stage, light with a waveleangth of 730 nanometers was reflected towards the sample object. The light bounced off the object without revealing it, the scientists have said.
While designing the cloak, scientists have also ensured that the nanoantennas are engineered in a manner that it adjusts to the shape of the object. This also ensures that the object does not move and retains invisibility.
The German invisibility box
Meanwhile, some KIT scientists in Germany are also working on a box that can be used to hide small objects. Robert Schittny, who heads the research project said, “It is a macroscopic cloak that you can look at with [the naked eye] and hold in your hands.”