Friday, October 20, 2006

The invisibility cloak - bad for airport security

The cloak of invisibility takes a step forward! Metamaterials were proposed earlier in the year by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Imperial College in London, and Techwire reports that they have now developed a cloak with concentric circles of metamaterials that will guide microwaves around itself to provide 'invisibility'. There is a Real video about it here
A nice little story, and useful for giving anything 'stealth' capability without having to use special designs. Good for hiding military and surveillance equipment from observation, but very bad in the wider sense of security. Where do we find microwaves in everyday life (apart from the kitchen?) At airport security machines.
Wrap an object in this material in hand luggage and it will disappear from the airport scanners, looking more like a shirt or a sweater. You can guess what that could be used for. Puts the restrictions on a bottle of water into the shade, doesn't it?

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