Here’’s how Harry Potter’’s invisibility cloak can become a reality

November 21st, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by ANI  

National Geographic

Washington, Nov 21 (ANI): With rapid advances, Harry Potter invisibility cloak would soon be a reality, however, the nearest possibility depends upon will and the money put into the project, says an expert.
Scientists have long been studying optical properties needed for an invisibility cloak.
But when asked about how real is the possibility of an invisibility device, Ulf Leonhardt, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore failed to make a guess.
“I think it’’s a question of the will and the money put into this field,” National Geographic quoted Leonhardt, as saying.
In the quest, Leonhardt has also found a way of bending the geometry of space so that light from all directions travels around an object, rather than hitting, thus making it invisible.
The novel way is the theoretical calculation of the light-bending properties needed for inventing an invisibility cloak.
“If you look at a fish [in an aquarium] it’’s not where it appears to be,” Leonhardt said.
That’’s because people’’s brains insist on viewing light as having travelled in a straight line, while the light in the water is bent.
Similarly, telescope lenses make objects appear closer.
Leonhardt said that the invisibility cloak would simply replicate this process in a more sophisticated way.
In other studies scientists came up with the concept of “plasmonic shielding”-a coating that would prevent light from bouncing off a small object, making the object appear so small it all but disappears. In 2006, scientists showed how to make light bend around an object so that the object appears not to be there. This scheme, however, could only work for a single wavelength or colour of light.
Another study led by David Schurig of North Carolina State University built a cloak that rendered an object nearly invisible to microwaves.
With all these studies, Leonhardt said that invisibility cloaks are “feasible now. That’’s the bottom line.”
However, Steven Cummer of Duke University is an engineering professor says that it still remains an ”imperfect cloak”.
He pinpointed that the phase of the light changes as it passes through the cloak.
“This means that the light has been scrambled a bit in traversing the cloak. This isn”t perfect invisibility, but it may work for some applications,” he added. (ANI)

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