Harry Potter's invisibility cloak revealed to teach physics

Posted by K R on

Researchers around the world are racing to develop Harry Potter-worthy invisibility cloaks.

But, because of the way they bend light, current designs have either required bulky equipment, or have drawn more attention to the object than they deflect.

Now, a group of German researchers has developed a portable invisibility cloak that can effectively shield objects while being small enough to use in classrooms.

Scientists hoping to divert light around an object to render it invisible must find a way to compensate for the increased distance the light must now travel.

If you were in a car and you had to change your route, for instance, you might solve this problem by changing your speed.

The greater distance is offset by the higher speed limit.

Unfortunately, light is a bit more challenging.

Because relativity prevents mass from traveling faster than the vacuum speed of light, there's no way to further speed up the detoured light in a vacuum or in air.

To address this challenge, the KIT team constructed their cloak from a light-scattering material.

By scattering light, the material slows down the effective propagation speed of the light waves through the medium.

Read More: Daily Mail Online

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