Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Invisibility: The Science of Over the Edge

According to Richard Alleyne, science correspondent for the UK Telegraph, scientists are very close to hiding stuff behind a screen of manipulated electromagnetic radiation. The technique is called "transformation optics" and uses a "superscatterer" to create an optical illusion. The superscatterer forces light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation into complicated directions to hide things--like Platform 9 3/4. In the Harry Potter series Platform 9 1/2 is hidden through the use of magic, but as Arthur C. Clarke wrote in Profiles of the Future:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
What these scientists are after is a "gateway that can block electromagnetic waves but that allows the passage of other entities." The present breakthrough has achieved a broader bandwidth and "has the added advantage of being able to be switched on and off remotely." Dr. Huanyang Chen said, "people standing outside the gateway would see something like a mirror."

In Over the Edge small surveillance cameras equipped with hover mechanisms use projected images to hide the device. Looks like we're close to having the ability to hide things in plain sight--now we just need efficient hover technology.

Invisible Doorways or Portals A Step Closer to Reality

Mercedes-Benz turned one of their vehicles invisible for a promotional stunt. In Over the Edge miniaturized cameras and screens accomplish the same thing making an object completely invisible on all sides. Read more about the Mercedes-Benz promotion and watch a video here:
Invisible Mercedes Brings James Bond Technology to Life

2 comments:

Jaizem said...

For more on invisibility cloaks etc. check out this link: http://discovermagazine.com/2011/may/13-invisibility-cloaks-hit-the-big-time

Woody said...

Here's an article about a shark that goes invisible: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44020491/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/glow-in-the-dark-shark-can-become-invisible?gt1=43001#.TjtGgmvJbvc