Physics

Achieving Invisibility



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"Achieving Invisibility"
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You have seen it in the movies, read about it in comic books, and fantasized about it in your dreams. Now it can be a reality.

Invisibility has been a fantasy for Billions of people for hundreds of years. It has appeared in movies, books, comics, and dreams since man could comprehend such an ingenious idea.

They are called metamaterials, a combination of metals and oxygen to create a light refracting object, used similar to the invisibility blanket in Harry Potter. This contraption was invented in the mid 90's, but didnt start being developed until 2000 and is still in the early stages, unfortunately.

What would it look like?

Well, someone wearing the metamaterial would not be very visible, but you would probably be able to tell they were there. If you watch the movie "Predator", you will see that the Xenomorph in the movie uses invisibility. This is quite accurate to what the metamaterial would look like.

How does it work?

These metamaterials are light refracting. That is, when light hits them, instead of bouncing off back into your eye and creating an image, the light passes over and around the cloaked object, like air over an airplanes wing, and makes it seem like there is not object there at all. The human Eye would be able to see a slight shadow caused by the cloak, and there would be a slight blur in the area cloaked, but it would be incredibly hard to spot unless you look really hard.

Where and When could I get one of these toys?

They're not toys. These cloaks will only be sold to authorized personnel, like the army, Police forces, etc. They will not be sold to the public under any circumstances and will probably be very expensive. Although they look and sound like a blast, good luck getting one.

Whats the catch?

Well, there are lots of 'catches'. First off, these metamaterials can only cloak an object that is in one wavelength of light, or one colour. The object being cloaked would have to be painted one colour or the cloaking would not work. The other downside is sort of 2 combined. The metamaterial would be very heavy and unmaneuverable, so you would not be able to walk around with this thing on. Also, the inside of the metamaterial is very dark, seeing as there is not light inside (it passes over and around) so you would not be able to see outside. So much for your spy plans. Also this metamaterial would be extremely expensive and hard to find. Like I mentioned, authorized personnel only.

Save up some money, wait 20 years, and work for the government and this toy could be yours.

Works Cited:

Popular Science Magazine
October, 2006

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