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Invisibility Cloak On Its Way! Bends Light Waves Around It.

According to an article in the Washington Post, we are getting closer to a real “Harry Potter”-like invisibility cloak.  A nascent invisibility cloak now being tested, for example, is made of a material that bends light rays “backward,” a phenomenon thought to be impossible just a few years ago.

Known as transformation optics, the phenomenon compels some wavelengths of light to flow around an object like water around a stone. As a result, things behind the object become visible while the object itself disappears from view.

“Cloaking is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Vladimir Shalaev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University and an expert in the fledgling field. “With transformation optics you can do many other tricks,” perhaps including making things appear to be located where they are not and focusing massive amounts of energy on microscopic spots.

The first working cloaks will be limited that way, he said — able to steer just a limited part of the light spectrum around objects — and it could be years before scientists make cloaks that work for all wavelengths, including the visible spectrum used by the human eye.

Fascinating…  The ability to actually bend light around an object, so that the object isn’t even seen- sounds like science fiction but the science is there, and the technology is coming fast.

Another area that is developing quickly is creating a blacker black. Scientists this month released a study that they had discovered how to make a paper-thin material made of fibers that absorbs so much light, it can even be dizzying to look “into” it.

Researchers in New York reported this month that they have created a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of the light that hits it, making it by far the darkest substance ever made — about 30 times as dark as the government’s current standard for blackest black.

…By voraciously sucking up all surrounding illumination, it can give those who gaze on it a dizzying sensation of nothingness.

Very interesting stuff. It will be interesting to see what applications are discovered for this light absorbing material. Not to mention the invisibility cloak. Rumor has it Wonder Woman already has placed an order for an invisible jet upgrade.

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