When being asked for a special power that you might want to have if given a chance, most of us will answer ‘To be Invisible’. Basically, in our everyday activities we want to be private and we don’t want other people to keep on looking on us. We want to be in places secretly, maybe because we want to know what other people are doing behind our back.
The art of being invisible is only made possible in movies such as Star Trek and Harry Potter. But believe or not, with constant research about it, the dream of being invisible has somewhat evolve a little bit. Researchers from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology were able to make a 3D object invisible by using cloak. Don’t get too excited because this 3D thing that I’m talking about is not as big as human being. In fact, it is very small. It is a tiny bump in a layer of gold. The size is 0.00004 inch high and 0.0005 inch across. Too tiny yet a great leap in the research.
How does this technology works? Let’s start with simple the principle of vision. In order to see things, our retina uses the light of the objects we are seeing. For this object to be invisible, there should be something that bends the light that it reflects and the role of the cloak comes in. The cloak is a structure of crystals with air spaces in between, sort of like a woodpile, that bends light. Unlike previously invented cloaks that works through 2D objects, this cloak that they were able to make hides 3D objects already.
Having this very great invention, with endless possibilities and continued research, there is no wonder that someday we’ll just wake up and find out that invisible airplanes already exists. “In principle, the cloak design is completely scalable; there is no limit to it,” Tolga Ergin, the lead researcher said. But, he added, developing a cloak to hide something takes a long time, “so cloaking larger items with that technology is not really feasible.”