Real invisibility cloaks one step closer to reality, underwater that is…
Researchers from the University of Texas, Dallas, have created an underwater invisibility cloak that uses carbon nanotubes to create a mirage effect that conceals the object.
The device utilizes the principle behind the desert mirage, which happens when a big change in temperature over a small distance bends light rays towards the eye instead of bouncing off the surface. The blue pools of water often mistaken for a desert oasis are simply the color of the sky being reflected from the ground.
Using this theory, researchers set out to find a material that could mimic this exchange of heat, and that material turned out to be carbon nanotubes.
These one-molecule thick sheets of carbon, which are wrapped into tubes, are superb conductors, and that makes them perfect for the job. When electrically stimulated that nanotubes quickly take on heat, and transfer it to the surrounding areas. This bends light away from the object creating an effective mirage effect. The technology works best underwater, and can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch.
As you can see from the clip, the result is highly effective invisibility cloak. The design was presented in IOP Publishing’s journal Nanotechnology, 4th September.