Boffins focus on first invisibility cloak

Harry Potter

Alan Rickman, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe wear capes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but how do you show a picture of something invisible?
Source: News Limited

US-based scientists claim to have reached a significant milestone in their efforts to create the world’s first invisibility cloak.

Researchers at Boston University and Tufts University, both based in Massachusetts, have developed a new silk-based material that can bend light around solid objects, Discovery News said.

So far the “meta-material” only works for the terahertz range of light, which is outside the visible spectrum.

But the team are convinced it could one day be refined to produce the sort of miraculous garment more reminiscent of something from a Harry Potter movie.

The silk’s special powers come from a pattern of tiny gold devices, known as “split ring resonators,” weaved into the fabric.

The resonators, 10,000 of which are embedded into square centimeter, can absorb, reflect or bend light at a particular wavelength.

While the potential for an invisibility cloak has fascinated humanity for centuries, the greatest impact of the new device could be felt in the medical world, researchers suggest.

Radiologists, for example, could use it to examine hard-to-access parts of the body by effectively “cloaking” any organs that get in the way.

Experts point out that a “meta-material” that works in the terahertz range is nothing new, however adapting it to silk is significant because the human body does not reject the fabric.

“This means it can be implanted directly into the human body without reactions,” Fiorenzo Omenetto, one of the scientists based at Tufts University, told Italian news agency ANSA.

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