It seems to be that in the field of optics, the ‘Holy Grail’ is to design a device or gadget that can be used to conceal an object entirely, so that an outside observer would not be able to detect it visibly. Well today we are one step closer to that goal! Now it is not your standard invisibility cloak from the popular book turned movie Harry Potter but it is still awesome! This new invisibility cloak has been found the completely conceal objects when looked at using particular wavelength of light. Namely, that of microwaves. However there is a price to pay. In return for the invisibility at some frequencies, the cloak actually makes the wearer MORE visible at others.
The Engineers physical review letter says, “We introduce the concept and practical design of broadband, ultrathin cloaks based on non- Foster, negatively capacitive metasurfaces. By using properly tailored, active frequency- selective screens conformal to an object, within the realm of a practical realization, is shown that it is possible to drastically reduce the scattering over a wide frequency range in the microwave regime, orders of magnitude broader than any available passive cloaking technology. The proposed active cloak may impact not only invisibility and camouflaging, but also practical antenna and sensing applications.”
Now if that went straight over your head don’t worry, these guys are leaders in their field! (If it were easy it wouldn’t be worth writing about!)
Professor Andrea Alu, from the University of Texas at Aust in, reported (with a bit more of a context on what the cloak can do for the laymen), “If you want to make an object transparent at all angles and over broad bandwidths, this is a good solution We are looking into realising this technology at the moment, but we are still at the early stages.”
This stuff already has applications in the military, microscopy, biomedical sensing, and energy harvesting devices; and it is just in the beginning of its development! I can’t begin to fathom what miracles of science these engineers will come up with next!
Until next time, Craig McRae.