Invisibility research

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"...such ideas were the preserve of fantasy fiction, movies and daydreams. But according to scientists, writing in the 25 May edition of the journal Science, an invisibility cloak is not only possible, but early versions, that would mask microwaves and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, could be as close as 18 months away."

"One of the authors of the paper, Professor Sir John Pendry, a physicist at Imperial College London, stresses that he and his fellow-researchers just need to perfect the manufacture of new materials - called "metamaterials" - that have the ability to steer light and other electromagnetic radiation around an object. "It's theoretically possible to do all of these Harry Potter things," he says. "But what's standing in the way is our engineering capabilities.""

"Clearly, one of the obvious uses for an invisibility cloak is in the military (unsurprisingly, Smith's team is part-funded by the US Department of Defense). Metamaterials could hide a spy plane or be used by special forces to go unobserved behind enemy lines. Smith and his team also suggest using cloaking materials to keep ugly buildings, such as factories or refineries, from spoiling the view. Other forms of cloaks, they say, could deflect destructive seismic waves or dangerous radiation from buildings." [1]

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