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June 29, 2013 by Dan Grose
Scientists from Singapore have unveiled the first steps towards a fully functional invisibility cloak.
The demonstration, which took place at the Technology, Education and Design conference in Los Angeles, saw a small box made from calcite optical crystal completely hide a portion of a pencil, hinting that more of the stuff could be used on a larger scale.
Professor Baile Zhang of Nanyang Technological University, the man behind the discovery, admitted that whilst he started the project “just for fun” it could have potential in the long run.
“There are still many limitations here and I don’t have the answers for how to solve them,” he said. “At this stage, this is already the best we can do. There will be quite a long way to go before it can be applied on a practical level.
“But all researchers in this field, including myself, are making progress, albeit slowly.”
Whilst it may not be up to the levels seen in Harry Potter, the invisibility cloak is the first of its kind to be able to bend light all the way around an object, giving it practical use for other technological devices such as cameras.
It may be a little while before we can don our invisible garb and start causing mischief, but that day may be a lot closer than we thought and no one saw that coming (sorry).
You can take a look at the mad invention in action here, courtesy of The Telegraph.
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