“If you could have one superpower, what would it be?”
This has always been my answer ever since I was a kid. I mean, who would not want to be invisible? You could go anywhere you want, do anything you want and never be seen. You could get into flights and ride first-class [*wink*] or watch movies without buying the tickets or gawk at people without being termed a ‘psychopath’.
Being the prodigious Harry Potter fan that I am, I have always wanted that invisibility cloak. Also, I’m sure millions of you have shared this longing of mine. Now it seems like people are working towards making this age-old dream of ours a reality. You can disappear whenever you want and wherever you want. Because as we know it and as J.K.Rowling stated, “Death had an invisibility cloak.”
With our ever-advancing innovations and technology, the nerds of the Moscow Institute of Technology and the Russian Academy of Sciences have formulated a new material. One which bizarrely refracts light. Those who paid the slightest attention in your high school physics classes will know that the incident light usually refracts on the other side of the normal. But this metamaterial causes the refraction of light on the same side of the normal as the incident light. With a little more work done on it, the perfect invisibility cloak could one day be yours!
Researchers at UC Berkeley have also succeeded in designing a cloak made of gold nanoantennas and mirrors which can completely obscure visible light.
“Our ultra-thin cloak now looks like a coat,” said Xiang Zhang, director of the Materials Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab. He is also the chief authority of the artificially engineered nanostructures known as “metamaterials.” Metamaterials are synthetic structures that exhibit unusual properties that are not found in natural substances, such as negative refractive index.
While scientists at the University of Tokyo have worked towards something a little different, this technology is called optical camouflage, which works on the principle that to merge with the background, project the background onto yourself. Voila!
All around the globe, so many brilliant minds are at work. And all towards one goal, to make our Harry Potter fantasy come true. It would, quite literally, be a dream come true. So all you Muggles, keep your fingers crossed.
With our never-ceasing Potter obsession leading to Marauder’s Map like apps, we can solemnly swear that we are up to no good! 😉