Harry Potter gets Real: Researchers Crack Secret to Invisibility Cloak
The Harry Potter movies were full of wonderful (and completely imaginary) magic items that none of us will ever have: flying broomsticks, magical wands, invisibility cloaks… Oh, well maybe I’m wrong on that last one.
Nothing in the movies is as cool as the invisibility cloak. Harry and his friends get to sneak around undetected and listen to secret conversations, helping them win over the villains. Here’s a picture to remind you of the movie magic:
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/UyluUq
For anyone who’s dreamed of having an invisibility cloak, I’ve got good news. These may become real within a few years thanks to a group of researchers in the US and South Korea.
Yonsei University in Seoul and Duke University in North Carolina have teamed on a project that you might expect to hear that professors at Hogwarts were undertaking. They’ve created a “smart and elastic” metamaterial that hides objects even as they change shape.
Other researchers have found ways to hide an object underneath a cloak but they had limited applications. Some only worked underwater, for instance and other’s only worked with objects of a very specific shape.
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/VsXNJV
The team tested the material using objects with heights over 10 mm and reported that the object was well-hidden at a variety of angles.
Will a Korean-made invisibility cloak make it onto our list of Christmas recommendations in the next few years? Clearly there’s a strong chance.