Monday, August 11, 2008

invisibility Cloak: closer to reality/or already here?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible.

In this 2003 photo, Tokyo University students use space-age material to make this student appear invisible.

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects.

Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.

The findings, by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are to be released later this week in the journals Nature and Science.

The new work moves scientists a step closer to hiding people and objects from visible light, which could have broad applications, including military ones.

People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye.

Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fibre composite.

Bog author's note: This reporter wrote an article on how the military was experimenting with this technology almost a decade ago. See related link to my original (with Bill Sweetman) that appeared in Popular Science magazine under the Topical Links menu to your upper right.

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