Harry Potter's invisibility cloak might be a real stretch, but scientists are now closer to making hidden portals like the one in an apparently solid wall that Harry uses to reach the train to Hogwarts, Nature reports. Objects made with so-called metamaterials—electrical devices that react oddly to light—can appear bigger than they are and appear to fill an entire doorway, say scientists in Shanghai. "It is a bit like magic—terrific fun," said a physicist.
In theory, someone entering such a portal would momentarily reveal the object in it—a pillar, say—which would vanish when the person has passed through. But the latest calculations only work with microwave radiation, not light visible to the eye. Real Harry Potter portals won't happen "until we get on top of these materials," the physicist explained.