Invisibility Cloaks Seen As Possible With Metamaterials
John Pendry and colleagues at Imperial College London, UK, think that metamaterials could make an invisibility cloak a real device.
Metamaterials are artificially structured composites first made in 2001 by David Smith, now at Duke University. Their negative refractive index forces light to bend in the opposite direction found in normal materials. Pendry and colleagues have now shown that metamaterials can guide light around an object.
The problem with this kind of story is that it is very difficult to get an idea of whether or not this idea is actually workable for a normal-sized object in a real-world environment. It's fun to read about, though.
As far as I know, the first reference to an invisibility cloak in science fiction is the invisible cloak from Ray Cummings 1931 classic Brigands of the Moon. Humans have been fascinated by this topic; Greek and Norse mythology have plenty of examples. The first science fiction novel about invisibility is, of course, The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells in 1897.
Read more about this story at NewScientist and physics web. Also, check out these earlier stories on Invisibility using plasmonic covers and Invisibility possible with superlenses. Thanks to various readers including James and Amritt for prodding me to do this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Swiss HCPVT Giant Photovoltaic 'Flower'
'...leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector.'- David Brin, 1990.
Peel And Stick Thin Film Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity, just like any solar power converter, but you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995.
Microbattery Extreme High Performance
'To this Foyle affixed a power pack the size of a pea and switched it on.'- Alfred Bester, 1956.
Speeding Ticket Robots To Cite Autonomous Cars?
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Sweat Be Gone! Non-Wetting Fabric
'The skin-contact layer is porous.'
German Firm Seeks To Recruit Autistics
Not a deficit, but a strength.
NASA Supports Pizza Printer
Is it extra with printed pepperoni?
Could Ground-Based Lasers De-Orbit Space Junk?
'Then their lasers vaporized the smaller satellites...'
'Hello, Computer!' Google Now Highlighted at IO13
MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's.'
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Not your typical 'smart bullet' approach.
Sky City's 220 Stories Are Go
'It rested among green parklands and... stood in total isolation, a glittering block of whites and flashing windows dotted with colors.'
CARMAT Bioprosthetic Total Human Heart Replacement
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Personal Sniffer Robots
'...The ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound.'
Physical Exam? We've Got Apps
See the future of handheld, personal medical devices.
The Interplanetary Internet, Vint Cerf Speaking
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Drosophila Robotica, The Mechanical Fly
'... the Scarab [flying robot] buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might...'
Robo-Raven Flapping Wing Robot Bird
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Japan's Nursing Home Robot Plan
Let's make the Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed!
Samsung Smart TVs With Gesture Control
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories