Friday, November 15, 2013

Invisibility cloak becoming a reality

When you were a child, did you ever wish you were invisible and could sneak around and spy on people?

Well, two researchers at the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto have demonstrated an invisibility cloak that's thin and scalable.

Professor George Eleftheriades and PdD student Michael Selvanayagam found a way to surround an object with small antennas that radiate an electromagnetic field that cancels any waves scattering off the cloaked object. (Nov 12, 2013 Physical Review X).

Light and radio waves get bounced away--voila, no way to "see" the object.

At present the antennas, which can be printed flat like a blanket or skin (or say a cloak), must be tuned to the frequency they are trying to cancel--but this can be corrected, the scientists say.

OK--we are now above my pay grade.

They say this can be used to "hide" bases or military hardware--but what about little kids wanting to sneak in their siblings' rooms?