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Carbon Nanotubes were electrically stimulated to bend light rays away from the object behind the cloaking device, leading to total invisibility

To date, researchers from all over the world have invented invisible cloaks for many purposes, such as military stealth and even soundproofing. For instance, a UK company designed a camouflage cloak for military vehicles, and University of Illinois researchers developed an underwater cloak that can hide objects from sonar.

Now, researchers from the University of Dallas have added a new invisible cloaking device to the mix. Like the work accomplished by the University of Illinois, Dallas' works best when underwater, but unlike many other cloaking tools, this new addition utilizes a mirage effect to achieve invisibility.

Dr. Ali Aliev, study leader from the University of Dallas, was able to successfully use the mirage effect to create an invisible cloaking device via carbon nanotubes. The mirage effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens when a significant temperature change over a short distance bends light rays so that they're redirected from the hot ground to your eye, creating a displaced image of the sky or distant objects within view.

Aliev wanted to imitate this process with a material that could conduct heat and send it to surrounding areas quickly. The material needed ended up being carbon nanotubes, which are strong as steel and dense as air with one-molecule thick sheets of carbon shaped like a cylindrical tube.

When the carbon nanotubes were electrically stimulated, the temperature gradient led to the bending of light rays away from the object behind the cloaking device. This resulted in total invisibility.

"Using these nanotube sheets, concealment can be realized over the entire optical range and rapidly turned on and off at will, using either electrical heating or a pulse of electromagnetic radiation," said Aliev. "The research results provide useful insights into the optimization of nanotube sheets as thermoacoustic projectors for loud speaker and sonar applications, where sound is produced by heating using an alternating electrical current."

A video of the invisible cloaking device can be seen below:

This study was published in IOP Science.

Sources: IOP Science, Wired, Fox News

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By TheEinstein on 10/5/2011 10:08:40 PM , Rating: -1
Sorry a heat created mirror only is so effective. Notice the angle of attack here was designed to make the reflection happen?

Think of a sphere from a 'cloaked' target. Make that sphere scale to size... A tank normally can be seen for a couple miles in the right conditions... Now cover at LEAST 75% of every 'pixel' at the range of 2 miles just to reduce the visibility enough to consider calling it a cloak...

Now rotate the viewing point and change what the 'cloak' has to send.

Universal cloaking is IMPOSSIBLE! Please hold a charged electric fence for the remainder of the time you believe that such is possible!

RE: Laughable...
By tayb on 10/5/2011 10:30:34 PM , Rating: 4
The earth is flat.

RE: Laughable...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/5/2011 10:45:30 PM , Rating: 3
Well we're a long way off from a Klingon Bird of Prey, but this is still pretty cool! Come on grumpy Guss...

RE: Laughable...
By Da W on 10/6/2011 8:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
PPfffffffffff, so much effort put into technology. My mom can cloak using only her superpowers!

RE: Laughable...
By iceonfire1 on 10/5/2011 11:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
...effective for what? It makes a mirage, a bunch of images of the sky leaving tread marks and making exhaust aren't exactly going to hide, regardless. As for the research, it changes the refractive index of air. Whether the same method could completely cloak something depends on experimental parameters (shape of object, insulation of air, method of heating, etc). The distance the object is viewed from is irrelevant.

I, for one, am looking forward to cloaking stuff like every other stair on a stair case, or making bubbles of light or something

RE: Laughable...
By Solandri on 10/6/2011 12:38:37 AM , Rating: 3
Universal cloaking is IMPOSSIBLE!

I wouldn't be so sure. Time-symmetry for light has already been broken (that is, you can construct a device where light travels one way but not the other). That's half the problem (arguably the harder half).

The other half of the problem is recording light coming in on one side of the object to be cloaked, and retransmitting it out the other side. If we ever come up with holographic displays, that problem will be solved. Since static holograms have already been invented, and people are working on holographic video, I'm pretty sure we'll eventually lick this problem.

Combine the two and you have universal cloaking.

RE: Laughable...
By Omega215D on 10/6/2011 12:58:09 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this will be out before 2027. You know, before the push for augmentation regulations. It's a time of great innovation and technological advancement. It's also a time of chaos and conspiracy.

I never asked for this.... I demand it. =P

RE: Laughable...
By Strunf on 10/6/2011 7:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
That would only work on one direction, what I mean is that if you only transmit what is on the opposite side and you rotate your clocked object by a few degrees your cloak is gone.

RE: Laughable...
By TheEinstein on 10/6/2011 2:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
Let me clarify. A tank, a soldier, a M1 Carbine... all are normally identifiable, though per scale at different distances (and also determined by natural background, movement, etc, but lets assume they are not moving and background is 'neutral')

Take the first Micron on an edge with visibility for approximately a 150 degree sphere around to and from (in all three frames of reference, x,y,z)

This Micron amazingly can retransmit light (assuming it is not an emission source itself) a significant distance with only itself.

Take the neighboring 99 microns as well... We now have 100 microns transmitting for miles with only a bit of entropy inside the sphere they are transmitting (a good telescope after all can see objects very far away with very little real loss)

You have to 'color scheme' not the individual micron of the 100... But the end resulting partial SPHERE they create. This is miles out, and in a full radius of the view. I do not even want to consider how many different locations need a potential different ray representing a color of an object that would have been in line of sight if the microns were not there.

This is why cloaking is truly impossible. And do not get me started on different wavelengths.

Please refrain from EVER using the word CLOAK or CLOAKING... It is Stealth, Camouflage, and/or Obfuscation.

Yes I am ANAL over this, but seriously... if you follow science, and follow math, you should refrain from hyping false terms!

RE: Laughable...
By Black1969ta on 10/6/2011 11:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Please refrain from EVER using the word CLOAK or CLOAKING... It is Stealth, Camouflage, and/or Obfuscation. Yes I am ANAL over this, but seriously... if you follow science, and follow math, you should refrain from hyping false terms!

You Sir should refrain from speaking until you have at least used Google to back-up your mistaken ideas.
A simple Google search "Define: Cloaking," defines cloaking as, "2. Hide, cover, or disguise (something)."

Clicking on the Merriam Webster link lists, "Camouflage" as a Synonym of Cloak!

As to the rest of your Theories, Cloaking is not expected to completely obfuscate an item, at least not at first, the goal is to just disguise it long enough to provide a clear tactical advantage, much like Stealth technologies.

RE: Laughable...
By KamikaZee on 10/6/2011 7:37:46 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't need to be perfect for military use.

It will be entirely sufficient if it produces a mirage of the surroundings. Ofc, you will see there's a cloaked tank/plane/whatever when you're close, the point is, this thing could make the difference between spotting a tank 15 miles away or spotting it only half a mile away.

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