Duke University creates 'perfect' one-directional microwave cloak, might lead to stealthier vehicles

Duke University creates 'perfect' onedirectional microwave cloak, might lead to stealthier vehicles

Most attempts at cloaking, no matter the slice of spectrum, usually leave clues as to what's there -- even microwave cloaks can spoil the surprise through reflections. At Duke University, researchers have licked some of those past problems with the first instance of a flawless microwave cloaking scheme. By crafting a special diamond-shaped cloak where the light properties stay consistent at the corners, the school's Nathan Landy and David Smith have successfully shielded a 3-inch wide cylinder from microwave detection without a hint that something was amiss. The gotcha, as hinted by the shape, is a two-dimensional nature that gives away the secret at less than ideal angles. Duke suggests that it still has the groundwork for something that could be vital for communications or radar -- we can imagine a stealth aircraft or ship in the far-flung future that could actively mask itself from radar signals. It's not quite the optical illusion we're looking for, but a refined version of the Duke project might be enough for a rare practical use of cloaking when fantasies are much more common.