That cloaking device we've been dreaming of appears to be one step closer to actual cloakdom, so start pondering the mischievous possibilities.
Scientists from Duke University have improved on their earlier efforts at producing an invisibility cloak, coming up with a new type of device they say is significantly more sophisticated at cloaking an object (and eventually a person?) from visible light.
The device is made from a light-bending composite material that can detour electromagnetic waves around an object and reconnect them on the other side. That creates an effect similar to a distant mirage you'd see hovering above a road on a hot day.
In Duke's latest experiments, a beam of microwaves aimed through the cloaking device at a "bump" on a flat mirror surface bounced off the surface at the same angle, as if the bump wasn't there. Additionally, the device prevented the formation of scattered beams that would normally be expected from such a perturbation. (The team details its findings in far more technical terms than I ever could in the latest issue of Science magazine.) … Read more