Feeds

back to article Boffins one step closer to invisible shed

Invisibility-investigating boffins have managed for the first time to cloak a three-dimensional object in free space – but only from microwaves. Credit: D Rainwater et al 2012 New Journal of Physics (click to enlarge) Rather than bending light around the object, an 18cm cylindrical tube, the researchers used "plasmonic …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Joke

I think Orange got there first...

My phone seems to be invisible to their microwaves half the time!

8
0
Bronze badge

"plasmonic cloaking"

Didn't Spock invent that. Or maybe it was Scotty. I'm sure it was one of them - having to escape certain death before the end of a TV hour is the mother of invention.

1
0
Coat

Does this mean that soon my wife won't be able to find me there either?

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

I made an invisible shed once

I sent MIT some photographs but they wouldn't believe me.

3
0

Damn it

I was going to say "pictures or it didn't happen". Guess I did it anyway.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Not sure what I'm looking at here apart from a graphic of some microwaves clearly being interfered with by an object.

Yes I did read the article, it doesn't match the provided "evidence" and no explanation is offered.

So what's the point?

1
0
Silver badge
Happy

I agree, the article was light on details. However, the tone of the headline would suggest that the concept has been covered before in The Reg.

To answer your question, the point is to keep Reg readers up to date with small progressions in an ongoing area of research. It is fairly clear that the important word in the article is "metamaterials".

I would recommend to everyone have a glance at the Wikepedia article that results from searching for the above word- some interesting concepts to muddle the brain with!

Making an invisible shed is but one of many potential (hopefully maybe!) applications across a broad range of disciplines.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

@Dave 126

Will do, thanks.

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Take a closer look at the graphic.

The third column is free-space -- i.e, the object isn't there to interfere. The interference you see in that column is likely from the mounting framework for the object. Now compare row 2 (3.1GHz) columns 2 (cloaked) and 3 (free-space). What's the difference?

1
0

at 3.1ghz and cloaked

You can see that the wave pattern shows no interference, I presume that is the point. Because there is no visible change in the wave pattern, the object is effectively invisible.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It looks pretty interfered with to me and obviously so.

1
1

some plasmonic materials are naturally available at optical frequencies.

My windows are made of it. I'm just waiting for someone to invent curtains.

0
0

Steath techniques...

Interesting that this stuff is slap bang in the RADAR frequencies, are we seeing a "civilianisation" of somthing already developed for the US militiary (B2 paint anyone?)?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

in a short answer... no.

In a longer answer, not quite, no, the principles between how the two operate are completely different. The B2 paint minimises the radar footprint of the plane, it works by being highly absorbing to "radar" frequencies, as radar detection of objects relies on receiving reflected "radar" waves from objects it kind-of hides the planes. I say kind of because it's not perfect, and if a receiver was placed in line of sight of the "radar" source and the plane flew between there would be a massive gap in the received spectrum. A "meta-material cloak" designed to work at radar frequencies would make it seem like the object was completely transparent to "radar", no back reflected waves, and no distortion to the received signal in a line of sight system.

1
0
Bronze badge

What's the frequency of the cosmic microwave background? Wouldn't they have to cope with that?

0
0

"It looks pretty interfered with to me and obviously so."

The diagram shows a cloaked object in the left hand column. The little box in the middle of each coloured section appears identical in the left hand column (cloaked) as it does in the right hand column (free space, ie. no object). Therefore there is no detectable difference between a cloaked object, and no object at all.

The middle column, an uncloaked object, his a different little box than the columns either side, indicating that it is detectable.

OK, the 2nd row isn't a particularly good example, but the other rows show the effect nicely.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

@Joe

Thank you.

0
0
Coat

Shirley...

...an invisible shed is a greenhouse?

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

Mmmmm

"Boffins one step closer to invisible shed"

Best be careful where they tread then, that next step could result in a bump on the noggin.

0
0
Silver badge

Wonderful

now we can stop arguing over what colour to paint it.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.