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Real-Life Invisibility Cloaks is Possible, New study Shows

Jul 17, 2016 09:19 PM EDT

A new study revealed that making an object disappear is possible using a composite material with nano-sized particles that works like Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, enhancing specific properties on the object's surface.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that using a using nanocomposite medium to serve as a practical cloaking device could allow curve surface to appear flat to electromagnetic waves.

To test out their new cloaking design, the researchers coated a curve surface with the new nanocomposite material. This material is consisted of seven distinct layers called graded index nanocomposite. Each of the layers has varying electric property depending on their position. The coating will then would hide the object that would've cause surface waves to scatter.

"The study and manipulation of surface waves is the key to develop technological and industrial solutions in the design of real-life platforms, for different application fields," explained First author Dr Luigi La Spada from QMUL's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in a statement. "We demonstrated a practical possibility to use nanocomposites to control surface wave propagation through advanced additive manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly, the approach used can be applied to other physical phenomena that are described by wave equations, such as acoustics. For this reason, we believe that this work has a great industrial impact."

However, the researchers noted that their new material woul not really make an object to turn invisible. It will just make curve objects to appear flat. But the researchers believe that their underlying design approach has much wider applications, ranging from microwave to optics for the control of any kind of electromagnetic surface waves.

"Previous research has shown this technique working at one frequency. However, we can demonstrate that it works at a greater range of frequencies making it more useful for other engineering applications, such as nano-antennas and the aerospace industry," added Professor Yang Hao from QMUL's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and co-author of the study, in a press release.

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