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According to Live Science
A material with random irregularities scatters an incident light wave into all directions.
Credit: TU Wien
Once thought of as the province of only “Star Trek” or “Harry Potter,” cloaking technologies could become a reality with a specially designed material that can mask itself from other forms of light when it is hit with a “beam of invisibility,” according to a new study.
Theoretically, most “invisibility cloaks” would work by smoothly guiding light waves around objects so the waves ripple along their original trajectories as if nothing were there to obstruct them. Previous work found that cloaking devices that redirect other kinds of waves, such as sound waves, are possible as well.
But the new study’s researchers, from at the Technical University of Vienna, have developed a different strategy to render an object invisible — using a beam of invisibility. [Now You See It: 6 Tales of Invisibility in Pop Culture]
Complex materials such as sugar cubes are opaque because their disorderly structures scatter light around inside them multiple times, said study senior author Stefan Rotter, a theoretical physicist at the Technical University of Vienna.
With their new technique, Rotter and his colleagues did not want to reroute the light waves.
“Our goal was to guide the original light wave through the object, as if the object was not there at all. This sounds strange, but with certain materials and using our special wave technology, it is indeed possible,” study co-author Andre Brandstötter, a theoretical physicist at the Technical University of Vienna, said in the statement.
The concept involves shining a beam, such as a laser, onto a material from above to pump it full of energy. This can alter the material’s properties, making it transparent to other wavelengths of light coming in from the side.
“To achieve this, a beam with exactly the right pattern has to be projected onto the material from above — like from a standard video projector, except with much higher resolution,” study lead author Konstantinos Makris, now at the University of Crete in Greece, said in a statement.
This article and images were originally posted on [Live Science] October 11, 2017 at 06:28AM
Credit to Author and Live Science