Scientists develop material that acts very much like Harry Potter’s famous invisibility cloak

Scientists develop material that acts very much like Harry Potter’s famous invisibility cloak

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Livermore Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, have come up with a material that acts very much like the well known invisibility cloak of Harry Potter.

Details regarding the new invisibility cloak technology were published in the journal Science. The US Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors the operation of the Berkeley Lab and the study was funded by the DOE Office of Science.

In a statement issued by Berkeley Lab, researchers said that it is quite small and can only be seen through a microscope. According to them the technology underlying their 'ultra-thin invisibility 'skin' cloak' can be adapted to the macroscopic level.

The scientists used ultra-tiny bricks of gold nano-antennas to develop a material only 80 nanometers thick that can conform to the shape of a three-dimensional object, reflecting light waves in a way that the object becomes invisible to the observer.

In the statement, study co-author, Xiang Zhang said, "This is the first time a 3D object of arbitrary shape has been cloaked from visible light. Our ultra-thin cloak now looks like a coat. It is easy to design and implement, and is potentially scalable for hiding macroscopic objects".

Made up of millions of small reflective gold nano-antennas, this amazing new material prevents light from scattering off an object and distorts it, the process through which something is made visible. The light instead seems to be reflecting off a flat surface. The US military will for sure be interested in knowing where invisibility technology goes.