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Metamaterial printing method inches us closer to invisibility cloaks

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In theory, metamaterials are all kinds of awesome -- they can boost antenna strength, focus lasers, and create invisibility cloaks. But, they've been limited to day dreams lab experiments because producing the light-interfering materials in any practical quantity has been difficult and time consuming. John Rogers, a professor at the University of Illinois has figured out a way to print a layered, nano-scale mesh that bends near-infrared light in much larger amounts than previously possible. The new method, based around a plastic stamp, has been used to create sheets of metamaterial measuring a few square inches, but Rogers is confident he can scale it up to several feet. Who knows, by the time the second installment of The Deathly Hallows hits theaters in July you could get the best Harry Potter costume -- one that lets you sneak in without shelling out $13.

[Thanks, Plum G.]

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