Harry Potter isn't the only scholastic with an invisibility cloak. Our religious scriptures visibly depict man's immeasurable desire to become invisible.
In many myths and legends, gods, spirits, fairies, angels, and demons are often invisible or can choose to become invisible at will. Scientists are still trying their darn good to incarcerate the mystifying phenomenon and empower humans with the power of invisibility.
1. Invisibility Cloak
The optical-camouflage technology, which has been developed by scientists at the University of Tokyo, has made the invisibility cloak a reality.
First, the person who wants to be invisible (let's call her Person A) dons a garment that resembles a hooded raincoat. The garment is made of a special material that we'll examine more closely in a moment. Next, an observer (Person B) stands before Person A at a specific location. At that location, instead of seeing Person A wearing a hooded raincoat, Person B sees right through the cloak, making Person A appear to be invisible.
2. Stealth Technology
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) knows better that if you can see the enemy, but the enemy can't see you, it's much easier for you to kill him. The STS adaptive camouflage technology makes the object virtually invisible even from 20-25 feet away. It can prove deadly if applied to aircrafts completely camouflaging them from the enemy and wiping them out without a trace. The charm of the technique is that it can be applied to ground vehicles, boats, infantry war-fighters, and UGVs/ground robots apart form soldiers.
3. Single Wavelength Invisibility Cloak
Hardly a few days back, Physicists figured out the complex mathematical equations for making objects invisible by bending light around them last year. Harry Potter fans will be delighted to hear the news. The design makes use of tiny needles to be fitted into a hairbrush shaped cone at angles and lengths that would force light to pass around the cloak. Some other researchers also tried to achieve the same but could only manage to hide objects in microwave spectrum. This is the first time that researchers have made an object invisible in a spectrum that is visible to human eye.
By exploiting the way that atoms move in solids the researchers at Imperial College London have made solid materials turn completely transparent.
Despite the almost magical feat of making solids transparent the key finding of this research is the fundamental physical effect creating the transparency. This effect has potential in the development of new efficient lasers, data security and quantum computing.
4. optical camouflage system
A video camera records the real-life scenery behind the subject, transmits that image to a front-mounted projector, which then displays the scene on the reflective material.
5. Aston Martin
Scientists discovered a new way to make objects invisible back in 2006. the idea was to employ metamaterials, a complex hybrid structure of metal and insulator that makes light move around an object. But, it was not easy to make cloaking devices that work on more than one wavelength of light at a time.
Check out this video simulation of an invisibility-equipped Aston Martin in James Bond.
6. Microwave cloaking
In 2006, scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering created a cloaking device that can re-route specific wavelengths of light. The microwave cloaking device was developed with artificial materials dubbed 'metamaterials" that manipulate light in bizarre and startling ways.
The cloak was made of copper rings and wires ornated on to sheets of fiberglass composite. A three-dimensional invisibility cloak would make an object invisible completely.
7. Blue Coats
This phenomenon of negative refraction could be used in constructing optical microscopes, capable of imaging things as small as molecules. It can also help create cloaking devices that can render objects invisible.
With its help a new nanofabricated photonic material is been created by California Institute of Technology applied physics researchers Henri Lezec, Jennifer Dionne, and Professor Harry Atwater. This new material can create a negative refractive index in the blue-green region of the visible spectrum.