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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First video of working invisibility cloak

R&D project demonstration
By Nick Flaherty

A video by Fractal Antenna Systems of Waltham, Massachusets (just down the road from Analog Devices) is showing that the 'invisibility cloak' is becoming a realistic project.
The company has been working on the system for two years using fractal antennas and resonators to make an 'object', or wearer, disappear into the background.
"The invisibility cloak we have has unique characteristics that have not been achieved by others, because others have not used our fractal approach," said Nathan Cohen, CEO at Fractal Antenna Systems. "Our invisibility cloak DOES allow the object to look to the outside, is wideband, and has minimal shadow and scattering. There is NO mirror of any kind. And there is no power needed to make it work. So we meet that heady requirement of making something slip into the background but also let that something ‘see out’ at the same time. This is exactly what the world sees as exciting about invisibility cloak research. Not new attempts at fun-house mirrors.”
The firm's approach was first reported in March 2009 and since then key measurements of scattering, reproducibility, bandwidth and fidelity, as well as ability to 'see-out' have been quantified on the fractal invisibility cloak, which operates at a wide range of microwave frequencies, including those used by cell phones.
"We have an invisibility cloak, wideband at microwaves, you can see out of and melds into the background. We made careful measurements of the invisibility cloak against controls for a comparison, as any thorough experiment requires. The results are compelling and irrefutable," said Cohen, mentioning that the results will be published and that the fractal invisibility cloak is an R&D device, not a practical application. “I am not going around wearing one to hide from microwaves, but this does show that it is feasible. It also shows a path to visual light versions, which have more serious fabrication challenges than the longer wavelength microwaves. I’d give Harry Potter 30 more years of waiting for a visual light invisibility cloak. But at least, from a technology standpoint, he can now put the order in.”

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