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Duke scientists build theorized invisibility cloak. Sort of.

Cyrus Farivar
10.19.06
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Yes, everyone wants an invisibility cloak. Yes, it's been theorized and in development before. But now, what our friends across the pond have only imagined, scientists at an American university have actually built. A group of brainiacs at Duke University have built a device (based on the Imperial College London theory) that can deflect microwave beams so the beams flow around an object almost as if nothing was there, with not too much distortion (but only in two dimensions). In order to do this, the group built a series of concentric circles made up of "metamaterials," or "artificial composites that can be made to interact with electromagnetic waves in ways that natural materials cannot reproduce." Don't get too excited yet, as scientists warn that this is merely a "baby step." The next step is to make the cloak work in three dimensions, and make improve the cloak's effectiveness. And even still, we're a long way off from making something completely disappear from visibility, which "would have to simultaneously interact with all of the wavelengths, or colors, that make up light." said David R. Smith, a member of the research squad. Hey Duke team, if you ever need human test subjects, we'd definitely be willing to volunteer.

[Via The Associated Press]



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