The technology to make items appear invisible only continues to get better

A team of US and British scientists have successfully tested a device that is able to cloak a small copper cylinder from microwaves during testing. The cloak of invisibility only works in two dimensions and only on microwaves. The research conducted by Professor Sir John Pendry of Imperial College of London while working at Duke University involved deflecting the microwaves around the copper cylinder while being able to restore them once they reached the other side of the object. The little amount of distortion made it look like there was nothing there at all. The research team also used microwaves to try and detect the cloaked copper cylinder with little success.

Pendry's team published a theory around five months ago that stated his team would be able to design a device that would be able to cloak items to make them appear to be invisible. Even with apparent success, the team still has much work to do. They will now begin to try to develop a three-dimensional cloak.

Even though the research is greatly improving, scientists are quick to note that consumers shouldn't get their hopes up of possibly being able to use the technology in their own homes any time soon. The official press release even mentions the technical difficulties and unlikelihood of an object being able to vanish before a person's eyes like in the Harry Potter books.

This is not the same as the optical camoflague technique demonstrated by Russian scientists earlier this year.  In fact, the technique from several months ago relies on cameras to "relay" the image behind the wearer.  While novel, the technology does not really represent a breakthrough in the same way Pendry's team has demonstrated.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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