New 'Invisibility Cloak' Actually Works—Sort Of
Duke University team renders small cylinder 'invisible'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2012 7:22 PM CST
Nathan Landy at Duke University holds up their new "invisibility cloak."   (Duke University)

(Newser) – Well, it's a work in progress anyway: A cloak of invisibility in development for six years has finally made an object invisible—at least from a certain angle, from passing microwaves. A team of Duke University electrical engineers used the cloak to render a half-inch cylinder "invisible" for the first time, reports the Daily Mail. But they admit it would be hard to pull off with visible light, so Harry Potter fantasies will remain far-off for now.

Still, it's an improvement from an earlier version that showed reflections around the cloak's edges. "We built the cloak, and it worked," says Nathan Landy, a grad student on the project. "It split light into two waves which traveled around an object in the center and re-emerged as the single wave with minimal loss due to reflections." It may also have practical benefits, like making the bends in fiber optics appear straighter—which would keep passing waves from losing their effectiveness.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Nov 13, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Hey that crab like faced alien in "Predator", he could make himself nearly invisible for a little while. He undoubtedly must have been wearing some of this invisible attire. Its probably coming. I remember reading Dick Tracy in the funny papers back in the 40's and he had a wrist watch he used as a wireless telephone and it had a small screen that allowed him to see who he was talking to. At the time I though that was wonderful, but I also knew it was impossible and would never ever really happen. Well O. K., so I was wrong.
Nov 13, 2012 8:18 AM CST
Its the smart intelligent people that keep this country advancing forward. If i knew them i would shake their hand and say good work.
Nov 13, 2012 6:06 AM CST
Best invisibility cloak ever-- being a middle-aged (or older) woman!