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Bringing Invisibility to the Classroom

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:21AM

Growing up, there were probably times you wished you could just vanish from your classroom, or maybe you wished someone else would. Either way, people cannot just disappear from a classroom, but some small objects now can. As reported by The Optical Society, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have created an invisibility cloak that can be used in classrooms to demonstrate the effect.

Invisibility is one of those powers man has been dreaming about for millennia, but only thanks to modern technology is it becoming possible. More specifically the thanks are to optical metamaterials with special properties that will bend light around objects, instead of reflecting off of them. One challenge with these cloaks is that when light is diverted around an object, it takes longer to get to the other side, like a road detour, except light as a firm speed limit. To solve this problem for the demonstration piece, the researchers used a light-scattering material, which slows down the propagation speed of the light. With all of the light moving slower inside of the material, that gives the researchers room to speed it up as it goes around an object, so every light wave has the same average speed.

The solid-state cloak the researchers build has two metal tubes coated with an acrylic paint inside of a common organic polymer that has been doped with titanium dioxide nanoparticles. With a properly bright light source, it is possible for this setup to show the principles of cloaking without any special equipment.

Source: The Optical Society

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That_Guy on May 05, 2015 23:52
Interesting! I need a beer cozy woven with such a polymer... Just so that my wife thinks there is nothing on the table...

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