Harry & his invisibility cloak
Harry & his invisibility cloak

Invisibility cloak just years away

  May 26, 2006 at 9:24 AM ET
  Geri     Yahoo! News (via Independent Online)
  harry potter, invisibility cloak

Two groups of researchers in the U.S. and the UK are currently working on a device to cloak an object and hide it from visible light, infrared light, microwaves and perhaps even sonar probes. The device would be similar to Harry's cloak which we first saw in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

The concept begins with refraction - a quality of light in which the electromagnetic waves take the quickest, but not necessarily the shortest, route. This accounts for the illusion that a pencil immersed in a glass of water appears broken, for instance.

Accordingopens in new window Physicist Ulf Leonhardt of Britain's University of St Andrews:

Any object placed in the hole would be hidden from sight. The medium would create the ultimate optical illusion: invisibility. Such devices may be possible. The method developed here can be also applied to escape detection by other electromagnetic waves or sound.

Details of the study appeared in yesterday's online edition of the scientific journal Scienceopens in new window.

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