A decade from now, scientists will be able to perfect the invisibility cloak technology using more advanced engineered materials.
For the longest time, the subject of invisibility has put science experts in awe and while those in the field of physics say the concept is no longer as fictional as Harry Potter’s cloak, they admit that no device has yet been perfected to make bigger objects invisible.
When light hits an object, light waves bounce off from the object in a distorted manner. These distorted waves help our eyes and our brains identify what these objects are.
So far, scientists have proven that certain materials can be used to make objects invisible. These special cloak-like materials have been engineered to bounce back light waves that can deceive the human eye, making the object appear invisible. Until recently, this only worked for ultra minute objects.
Scientists have explored a new invisibility cloak that could also apply to objects of varying size and shape. This new material is a better version of the first prototypes in that they are finer and more resilient and thus could function on larger objects.
Credit goes to John Pendry, a British scientist for his pioneering work in engineering a cloak-like, invisibility device which can distort microwaves around two-dimensional objects the size of a couple micrometers. Other teams of scientists have been successful in further developing Pendry’s work by creating invisibility cloaks that work on three-dimensional objects and on various types of wavelengths.
The majority of these cloaks employs engineered materials that have minute internal composition made of plastic, glass, metal or other materials. While these allow interfacing with light waves in a nonconventional manner, they add unwanted bulkiness.
Also, keeping light completely out of view is a huge feat inasmuch as even the smallest amount of leak can render the cloak useless.
Perfecting the invisibility cloak is a project worth pursuing in the sense that it can be used first and foremost by the military. Military aircraft on a special mission would have great use for aircraft that can freely fly undetected.
Experts are giving themselves about a decade more to perfect the invisibility cloak technology which holds so much promise – in our world and Harry’s too.