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The Invisibility Cloak

NSF Award:

The Response of Composites and Quasiconvexity  (University of Utah)

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Making an object invisible with a cloaking device is commonly regarded as science fiction.  Mathematical analysis by NSF-funded researchers at the University of Utah and the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, however, recently revealed that certain objects are essentially invisible when placed sufficiently close to a superlens.  A superlens is a thin transparent film with a negative refractive index that has the ability to resolve scales finer than the wavelength of the incident light.  Cloaking occurs when some of the scattered light incident on the object gets trapped at the front surface of the superlens, builds up in intensity via a phenomenon known as anomalous local resonance, and almost exactly cancels the incident light.  It's as if the object isn't there.


  • Image of a chameleon
Chameleons have a built in invisibility cloak that allows them to blend into their surroundings.
© 2010 Jupiterimages Corporation
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