It appears that the possibility of an ‘Invisibility Cloak’ is no longer limited to the Klingons in Star Trek movies. Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have managed to cloak an 18 centimeter (7.2 inch) cylindrical tube. It may be some time before we can mask a giant craft from view, but the process is really exciting.
The technique involves masking light from the microwave part of the energy spectrum. The researchers say the experiment is important proof of a principle that the plasmonic meta materials can achieve a cloaking effect.
Obviously the use in a war environment needs so explanation. A plane for instance could be cloaked in all directions to radar microwaves. The Human eye however can only perceive light in higher frequencies, so it wouldn’t work. Experts say that they wouldn’t need to cloak the whole airplane however, just the hot spots, such as the energy generating tailplane which is noticeable on microwave radar.
The Telegraph newspaper in the UK add “Plasmonic meta-materials are composites of metal and non-conductive synthetics made of nanometre-sized structures that are far smaller than the wavelength of the light that strikes them.
As a result, when incoming photons hit the material, they excite currents that make the light waves scatter.
The new experiment entailed making a shell of plasmonic meta-materials and placing the cylinder inside, and exposing the combination to microwaves.
Microwaves scattered by the shell ran into microwaves bounced from the object, preventing them sending a return signal to the viewer.
“When the scattered fields from the cloak and the object interfere, they cancel each other out, and the overall effect is transparency and invisibility at all angles of observations,” said Alu.
Any shape of object can be masked, he added.
The cloaking worked best at a microwave frequency of 3.1 gigahertz, said the paper.”
Kitguru says: The first step in a long term plan.