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Saturday, May 27, 2006
Progress Toward Invisibility
Would it really be possible to design objects, or cloaks for objects that would be invisible? In a paper published in Science today, researchers report a theoretical breakthrough that may lead in a few years to materials that would be invisible to radio waves, and someday perhaps, to visible light rays as well.

As explained in an article at PhysicsWeb, the key is the use of "metamaterials" - manufactured materials with unique refractive properties. The surface of these materials are composed of nano-scale structures that cause light or other electromagnetic radiation to bend in the opposite direction from normal materials, and this effect can be tuned to cause the radiation to be focused at will. Light could therefore be directed around the material like water flowing around an obstacle, with the result being that the viewer would see around the object - it being rendered invisible.

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