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article imageStudy: US, Chinese researchers engineer invisible cloak

By Chris V. Thangham     Jan 18, 2009 in Technology
In a joint research by the U.S. and China, scientists and the universities in North Carolina have created an invisible cloak that mimics mirages in desert.
The study was conducted at the University of North Carolina, Duke University and supported by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and National Science Foundation of China.
The researchers have created metamaterials which can guide electromagnetic waves around the object and act as if they passed through a vacuum space.
David R. Smith, one of the researchers compares this behavior with the mirages in the desert.
You see what looks like water hovering over the road, but it is in reality a reflection from the sky…In that example, the mirage you see is cloaking the road below. In effect, we are creating an engineered mirage with this latest cloak design.
This new cloaking material is an improvement of the prototype developed earlier in 2006 but Smith claims the new material is far superior. He said it can cloak a wide spectrum of waves and works effectively in the infrared and visible light range.
By removing the effects of obstructions, the new technology can be used in various fields such as in wireless communications and used as an acoustic cloak to protect the inside from sound or seismic waves.
The team has published their work in the January 16 edition of the journal Science. The full copy is available for subscribers only.
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