Latest in Science

Image credit:

Universal mirrors: more useful, less fun than carnival mirrors

Darren Murph
07.20.09
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links


You know those invisibility cloaks scientists have been struggling to master for decades? This here is said cloak's perfect opposite, and it's bending our minds in ways you can hardly fathom. Ulf Leonhardt, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, has worked with a brilliant team of scientists in order to construct what he calls a universal mirror, or if we're being proper, an omnidirectional retroreflector. Unlike conventional mirrors which simply reflect objects at 90 degrees, this concoction reflects objects back at any angle. In other words, a device such as this would make aircraft, boats and satellites entirely easier to track with radar, but it'll have to mature quite a bit before it's ready for that kind of action. The current build is just a single centimeter high and ten centimeters in diameter, and as with invisibility cloaks, the main ingredient here is metamaterials that we won't pretend to fully understand. Just one word of caution, boffins -- don't let Geek Squad get ahold of this stuff.

[Image courtesy of Barbara Rich, thanks JR]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Nintendo wins legal battle against one of Tokyo's real-life 'Mario Kart' tours

Nintendo wins legal battle against one of Tokyo's real-life 'Mario Kart' tours

View
Scientists tried to recreate a mummy's voice with an electronic larynx

Scientists tried to recreate a mummy's voice with an electronic larynx

View
Lab-grown heart muscles transplanted into a human for the first time

Lab-grown heart muscles transplanted into a human for the first time

View
Roku's speakers can finally turn into a surround sound system

Roku's speakers can finally turn into a surround sound system

View
Benjamin Moore's ColorReader can match your paint with your shirt

Benjamin Moore's ColorReader can match your paint with your shirt

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr