Harry Potter May Not be the Only One with an Invisibility Cloak Anymore
Anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies knows about his invisibility cloak. It seemed like such a fantastical thing that would probably never really exist. As can be the case, inventions and discoveries often happen after they have been part of the world of fantasy. It may seem impossible but a real invisibility cloak is now a step closer to being reality.
A composite material containing nano-sized particles that have the ability to enhance certain aspects of the surface of an object has been used by Queen Mary University of London scientists to make an object seem to disappear. With the cooperation of UK industry, scientists gave a demonstration of this first ever cloaking device. It basically makes the curved surfaces of something seem flat to electromagnetic waves.
The object that is to be made invisible is coated with the nano-composite material. This material has seven layers and each is quite distinct. Each layer also has a variable electric property that is dependent on the position of the object. The resulting effect is what makes the object seem invisible to the electromagnetic waves.
A Harry Potter type invisibility cloak is still a long way off but the demonstration showed that it may be possible to change how platforms have their antennas tethered to them. It would mean that antennas of various sizes, shapes and materials could be tethered in places that are too awkward for conventional antennas.
Earlier research had already proven that this method worked with one frequency but the latest research and demonstration shows it can work with a wide range of frequencies. This gives it far more potential in a variety of engineering applications, including aerospace and nano-antennas.
For more info, see this article from CDA News
And if you Really want to get down into the details, check out this article in Scientific Reports
Cover Photo Credit: Dr La Spada, Queen Mary University of London