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Print 30 comment(s) - last by PT2006.. on Oct 20 at 3:29 PM

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.




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WoW!
By Alphafox78 on 10/19/2006 2:46:10 PM , Rating: 5
Does this cloak provide +5 spirt and +4 stamina also?




RE: WoW!
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 2:52:04 PM , Rating: 5
Nah, they enchanted it with "Enchant Cloak - Stealth" -_-. Jeez, the amount of noobs these days ;).


RE: WoW!
By Knish on 10/19/2006 2:52:50 PM , Rating: 3
How much do nexus crystals go for these days?


RE: WoW!
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 2:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure, to be honest, but I believe they may've gone overbudget when they purchased the Black Lotus.


RE: WoW!
By Whedonic on 10/19/2006 3:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well how else where they supposed to cast the cloak on the first turn?


RE: WoW!
By daftrok on 10/19/2006 3:33:38 PM , Rating: 4
"How do you kill someone...that has no life?"


RE: WoW!
By Googer on 10/20/2006 12:44:22 AM , Rating: 3
Light..
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 2:50:09 PM , Rating: 3
If only we could do this with light... then we'd have true invisibility! Golly gee, I would sure have so much fun with true invisibility :D.

Although this discovery does seem fairly interesting. I wonder how hard the transition from 2d to 3d would be? It's literally the concept of taking a ray that hits one point and directing it to another point on the cloaking device where the ray would have been if the object had not existed. This same concept works for light as well; however, light must also send off the original colored rays that came in, or else discoloration will appear.

I think that difficulty would depend a lot on what object creates the invisibility. If the object is unmaleable (such as a cloak would not work as it can be shifted on an object... but a box would work), then it may be a bit easier.




RE: Light..
By Etsp on 10/19/2006 3:04:13 PM , Rating: 1
Microwaves(the waves themselves, not the cooking appliances) ARE light in a manner of speaking. "Light" is really just electromagnetic waves. Our eyes see only the waves within a certain range of wavelengths, and microwaves are just a larger wavelength. so your reflection of
quote:
If only we could do this with light...
is kinda redundant, it SHOULD read
quote:
If we could only do this with visible light...

And the preview before post is quite useful, I didnt realize that quotes were already italicized and tried to do it with "visible" but after I actually LOOKED at the preview (strange concept eh?) I saw it wasnt emphasized so I was able to make corrections =D.


RE: Light..
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 3:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
is kinda redundant, it SHOULD read

Actually, if you want to get into specifics, which I don't usually do, this SHOULD say

quote:
is kinda inspecific , it SHOULD read

As redundancy typically refers to something being stated twice, which you could say that since microwaves are a subset of light, that I'm stating it twice; however, I'm not necessarily stating microwaves. My statement including "light" was merely not specific enough for you I guess. Although, the mention of colors that make up light(i.e. a color that's visible to human eye) would point someone in the direction of the visible spectrum if they questioned my use of the word "light."

*shrug* You understood what I meant though :P.


RE: Light..
By Etsp on 10/19/2006 4:32:02 PM , Rating: 1
"If we could only do this with light" if taken literally is redundant because they ARE doing it with light, which expresses your desire for them to accomplish something that they've alread accomplished. But granted, with your implied meaning it is inspecific. so both ways are right =P.


RE: Light..
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 10/19/2006 5:06:42 PM , Rating: 3
nerd war!!!!!!!


RE: Light..
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 5:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
We're taking revenge... yet again ;).


RE: Light..
By Wwhat on 10/19/2006 11:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
John Pendry commented: "There's a rule about the internal structure of the metamaterial: it has to be smaller than the wavelength of radiation. So for radar waves that's 3cm. You can easily engineer something a few millimetres across.

"You go up to optical radiation - light - and the wavelength is less than a micron. So your microstructure has to be a few tens of nanometres across. and we're only just learning how to do nanotechnology... maybe in five or 10 years time you could do this, but not today."


Isn't this just active stealth?
By stmok on 10/19/2006 5:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
I get the feeling this is for the next generation of military fighters or other military applications.

Current stealth fighters involve shaping and absorbing radar emissions, as well as making efforts in reducing IR signatures. (passive stealth technology).

To be able to actively do it, allows engineers to remove the factor of stealth into the airframe design. (ie: it makes things simpler, as then you can focus on max performance in the design).

I doubt they will commercialise this for the general public.

Just think about it...Remember that Kevin Bacon movie, "Hollow Man"? Yeap, go for a rape spree.

Hell, commit any crime you want!




RE: Isn't this just active stealth?
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 5:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot forget stmok, that this isn't the type of stealth like you saw in Hollow Man. That ability is a lot more advanced than what they did here ( not to downplay their work or anything! )

Invisibility/cloaking requires the absorption and dispersion of light from a point of contact to the point in which it would have exited while keeping the same arc. The hard part is, you can't think of ONE ray hitting a point... you've got think of all the rays that strike one point (such as if you looked at a point straight on, then moved to the left while still looking at that same point, etc). It's definitely not something that someone will come up with in their basement... unless they live in Eureka :P.


RE: Isn't this just active stealth?
By saratoga on 10/19/2006 8:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think rays even apply. These are based on metamaterials, which from my limited photonics background are grounded in quantum, not ray optics.


RE: Isn't this just active stealth?
By Aikouka on 10/19/2006 9:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
The reason people can see us is because there's light bouncing off us. Hence why in the dark, you can't see things too well (including people or things you're about to run into like that damned couch!) If you displace the light that reflects off us to make it act like we're not really there, then we're not visibly there to the naked eye.

That's what I mean :x

But hey, if Quantum is involved, nVidia's already got that down pat :P.


RE: Isn't this just active stealth?
By saratoga on 10/19/2006 11:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
I simply mean that light rays do not actually exist, thus saying things like "all the rays that strike one point" is misleading. While that may make sense colloquially, its not relevent since the devices in question do not obey the laws of ray optics but rather the much more exotic laws of quantum and EM optics.

Is that more clear?


RE: Isn't this just active stealth?
By Wwhat on 10/19/2006 11:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you could do it for lasers (once they get to nanometertechnology) since that's light of a single wavelength coming from one direction, might be usable against laserguided missiles, perhaps handy for ships


Huzzah!
By KaiserCSS on 10/19/2006 2:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
I must say, that is some incedible news. I find it amazing that every day, science fiction comes closer to reality.




RE: Huzzah!
By daftrok on 10/19/2006 3:36:05 PM , Rating: 1
Science fiction talks about the future and we are getting closer to it. Although I always thought invisibility along the lines of fantasy, but still, its pretty cool.


RE: Huzzah!
By ksherman on 10/19/2006 5:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, science fiction talks about todays issues, through a different lens.


Russian?
By Googer on 10/20/2006 12:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
demonstrated by Russian scientists earlier this year.


I remember that story from 18 months ago and I think if memory serves me correctly, it was japaneese not russian scientists at a university who devloped that cloak jacket.




RE: Russian?
By PT2006 on 10/20/2006 3:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Did you click the link?


Headline
By CKDragon on 10/19/2006 6:03:37 PM , Rating: 3
"Scientists Create Another Cloak of Invisibility"

I love the headline. I have no idea if it's intentionally funny or not, but I just picture the speaker to have a bored, sarcastic tone saying "Oh wow, another one of those things..."




Asteriod Wars
By TimberJon on 10/19/2006 2:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
If anyone read the Asteriod Wars portion of Ben Bova's novels, youd remember some of the asteriod prospectors were getting shot up by other ships with high-powered mining lasers.

Cloaks would surely try to be applied to spacecraft when prospecting becomes a reality. If not on the visual range, than perhaps heat signatures, magnetic anomaly pings, communications, and so on.

Should be very interesting to watch this progress.

Thanks Dailytech!




Radar
By Kougar on 10/19/2006 5:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
I heard this report elsewhere, and they mentioned one critical thing that got passed over on this article...

Radar uses microwaves to detect objects. If you can cloak an object from microwaves, then Radar is completely useless. The military juggernaut is probably already all over this one.




Invisible Sheild
By Etern205 on 10/19/2006 8:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing new...
By INeedCache on 10/20/2006 9:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
they've been using this on Dick Cheney for years.




"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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