Masking devices are now reality

    The world's first camouflage device capable of hiding objects in the visible spectrum was created by scientists from the University of Maryland. True, it is too early to expect this prototype of something supernatural, since it works in only two dimensions and ensures the invisibility of very small objects (no more than 10 micrometers). Nevertheless, this step from theory to practice is more than a significant scientific discovery.

    The device was created and tested by a team of physicists under the leadership of Igor Smolyaninov. As a starting point for the development, theoretical calculations of the “cloak of invisibility” were taken, made and published in early 2007 by Vladimir Shalaev from the University of Pardew.

    Smolyaninov’s masking device, measuring 10 micrometers in diameter, consists of two concentric gold circles coated with a plastic called polymethyl methacrylate. Gold and plastic have different reflection properties and allow you to direct plasmons (light waves converted into waves passing through electrons) in different directions.

    By combining the amount of metal and plastic in different areas of the "cloak", a team of American physicists was able to control the plasmons with sufficient accuracy to direct them around the hidden object.

    In simple words, the device allows you to direct a beam of light around an object located directly behind it. To give a visual analogy, this is somewhat similar to how the water in a river goes around a stone.
    However, even according to the statements of the scientists themselves, the masking device obtained as a result of experiments is not able to control light waves directly. Therefore, it is really impossible to call it “the cloak of invisibility” yet. In addition, hiding objects in only two dimensions works. Three-dimensional devices of this kind, capable of hiding objects in the visible spectrum, are still fantastic.

    via Engadget , Newscientist

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