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Duke/Imperial Collaboration Produces Invisibility Cloak

Oct 19 2006 19:00
Ashley Brown
A collaboration between Duke University and Imperial has produced the world's first "cloaking device".
The cloak gives DPFS Jon Matthews new options for ensuring your finances are under control

Earlier this year the team of Professor Sir John Pendry announced a theory for the creation of an invisibility cloak, using "metamaterials" - materials modified at a nano-scale to change their structure - to allow light to flow around an object like water does. A team at Duke University have now built a working prototype based on his team's theory.

In May Pendry had a paper in the journal Science which provided a mathematical verfication of the technique to be used. Pendry, along with David Smith and David Schurig at Duke, had been testing metamaterials for the project. They have now achieved a breakthrough, forming a two-dimensional cloak which allows microwaves to flow around an object rather than scattering. Measurements taken on the prototype indicate that it is a success, with the waves separating and then reforming after flowing around the it. The team are perfecting the two-dimensional technique and hope to develop a three-dimensional microwave cloak in the future.

Metamaterials used to build the cloak are fashioned into concentric two-dimensional rings, which interact with electromagnetic waves to pass them around the object. The cloak is thought to be one of the most complex metamaterial structures ever made, as it has a unique circular geometry and it's electromagnetic properties vary across its surface.

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Discussion about “Duke/Imperial Collaboration Produces Invisibility Cloak”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. well   
Oct 19 2006 19:41

er...what's this got to do with CGCU? Pendry is in the physics department.

Oct 19 2006 20:29

1) Because its cool

2) Because they're arguably doing nano-scale engineering on the materials to make them behave like they want

3) Live! covers more than just engineering

Oct 19 2006 20:29

Do you not think this might impact/interest engineers at all? It'll excite the Star Trek fans if noone else...

Oct 19 2006 23:38

It's currently the most read story on the BBC website.

5. Sid   
Oct 20 2006 12:44

The theory behind the project was developed in Physics whilst it was engineered at Duke, if only we would have kept it in house...

6. Pan   
Oct 20 2006 15:33

What I don't like is that while this has been on the press for a few days, on the articles it is Duke that receives all the glory!

Oct 20 2006 15:37

The press release we received on Wednesday listed it as embargoed until 1900 BST on Thursday, which is when we published the story.

I note that the BBC article had a publishing date of mid-afternoon Thursday and others were carrying the story earlier.

I can only assume Duke issued a release without an embargo which is why they're getting more credit. The BBC article was giving Hendry's team credit though.

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