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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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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.

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