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Thursday, May 25th 2006

Cloaking

A cloaking devide which works like water flowing around a pencil.

Two separate teams, including Professor Pendry’s, have outlined ways to cloak objects in the journal Science.

These research papers present the maths required to verify that the concept could work. But developing an invisibility cloak is likely to pose significant challenges.

Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called “metamaterials” to build a cloak.

“Water behaves a little differently to light. If you put a pencil in water that’s moving, the water naturally flows around the pencil. When it gets to the other side, the water closes up,” Professor Pendry told the BBC.

“A little way downstream, you’d never know that you’d put a pencil in the water – it’s flowing smoothly again.

“Light doesn’t do that of course, it hits the pencil and scatters. So you want to put a coating around the pencil that allows light to flow around it like water, in a nice, curved way.”

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