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Mischief managed: researchers produce an invisibility cloak in just 15 minutes

Melissa Grey, @meligrey
September 11, 2013
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Grab your Marauder's Map and get ready to roll. Researchers at Zhejiang University in China have pioneered a new, time-efficient method of producing real world invisibility cloaks made out of Teflon. While it isn't the first time we've come across an invisibility cloak, it is the first to make use of an innovation called topology optimization. Thus far, physicists working on invisibility have largely relied on metamaterials -- synthetic materials that alter the behavior of light as it interacts with objects -- but the cost and difficulty of manufacturing them has made them an impractical option. The Zhejiang team has circumvented those obstacles by creating a so-called "eyelid" out of Teflon, the computer-altered topology of which minimizes the distortion of light as it moves past a cloaked object -- and it only took 15 minutes to produce. Since the Teflon eyelid is only invisible to microwaves, it won't enable you to roam the halls of Hogwarts unseen, but the technology could potentially open up new avenues in exploring invisibility on other wavelengths. To learn more, read the full paper at the source link below.

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