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posted by martyb on Monday January 10, @07:59AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the spherical-cow[l]? dept.

"Invisibility Cloaks" May Soon Be Real: Creating Invisibility With Superconducting Materials:

Invisibility devices may soon no longer be the stuff of science fiction. A new study published in the De Gruyter journal Nanophotonics by lead authors Huanyang Chen at Xiamen University, China, and Qiaoliang Bao, suggests the use of the material Molybdenum Trioxide (a-MoO3) to replace expensive and difficult to produce metamaterials in the emerging technology of novel optical devices.

The idea of an invisibility cloak may sound more like magic than science, but researchers are currently hard at work producing devices that can scatter and bend light in such a way that it creates the effect of invisibility.

Thus far these devices have relied on metamaterials – a material that has been specially engineered to possess novel properties not found in naturally occurring substances or in the individual particles of that material – but the study by Chen and co-authors suggests the use of a-MoO3 to create these invisibility devices.

Possessing some unique properties, this material can provide an excellent platform for controlling energy flow.

[...] As a result, the study shows that hyperbolic materials such as a-MoO3 and Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) could serve as a new basis for transformation optics, opening the possibility of photonic devices beyond invisibility concentrators, including improved infrared imaging and detection systems.

Journal Reference:
Tao Hou, Sicen Tao, Haoran Mu, et al. Invisibility concentrator based on van der Waals semiconductor α-MoO3 [open], Nanophotonics (DOI: 10.1515/nanoph-2021-0557)


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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday January 10, @08:05AM (1 child)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday January 10, @08:05AM (#1211457)

    Just spray-paint "Remember Tiananmen" on the garment and watch how quickly the wearer disappears.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @02:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @02:27PM (#1211764)

      just be poor. you turn invisible instantly ...

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Monday January 10, @08:39AM (7 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday January 10, @08:39AM (#1211459)

    Question remains just how invisible you are. Are we talking Frodo ala Lord of the Rings invisible (lets forget about that it was the ring and not the cloak)? Some generic sci-fi invisibility? Full on Star Trek Klingon cloaking device? Modern Stealth ships and aircraft (which are not really invisible to the naked eye but just harder to see on radar etc)?

    So invisible to the naked eye or invisible to cameras or invisible to heat sensors etc? Will there be some kind of shimmer or other effect? Almost disappearing isn't invisible.

    Also then how much of your entire body does the "cloak" need to cover? It will be strange if you see a pair of legs or a face just floating about on it's own. Depending on cloak they might not be full length, they have to be closed, they may or may not have a hood but there is no face cover.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday January 10, @08:45AM (2 children)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday January 10, @08:45AM (#1211460)

      So invisible to the naked eye or invisible to cameras or invisible to heat sensors etc?

      My superpower is, if I stand very still without making any noise, I'm invisible to blind people.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday January 10, @11:38AM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday January 10, @11:38AM (#1211474) Journal

        I've got an even better superpower: I'm invisible to people with normal sight in bright light, as long as something intransparent is between me and them. For example, I can tell you for certain that no one can see me right now (unless there's a camera somewhere recording me without my knowledge, of course).

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday January 12, @11:26PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday January 12, @11:26PM (#1212241) Homepage Journal

          I can tell you for certain that no one can see me right now (unless there's a camera somewhere recording me without my knowledge, of course).

          Can you see your hands or arms, part of your nose or eyelids? If so, someone can see you.

          --
          Master of the art of the science of the art of the science of art.
    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday January 10, @09:14AM

      by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10, @09:14AM (#1211462)

      > (lets forget about that it was the ring and not the cloak)

      Just to be clear, the ring granted invisibility but the elven cloaks also granted the wearer awesome camo powers.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @01:23PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @01:23PM (#1211480)

      Quickly scanning the paper, it looks to be invisibility in the same sense as that you get with metamaterials, which is that it works for a single wavelength. So if you can get everybody to wear rose-colored glasses and you cover yourself in a thin film of molybdenum oxide tailored to the color rose, then you're set.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Spamalope on Monday January 10, @04:48PM

        by Spamalope (5233) on Monday January 10, @04:48PM (#1211529) Homepage

        That could be super useful.
        Imagine your new 8k screen with transistors or wiring above and below the pixels. The above portions only need to be invisible for the specific wavelength of that pixel.
        The same thing for a camera sensor. More transistors/wiring closer to the pixels can allow faster readout and fancier tricks. Advancing dual readout tech for starters...

    • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Tuesday January 11, @05:37PM

      by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 11, @05:37PM (#1211826)

      You'll be fine as long as you don't start singing the Russian national anthem.

      --
      Dealing out the agony within
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @10:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @10:36AM (#1211467)

    acts as a cloaking device. Even before COVID22, I could wander down the street and no one would notice me.

    Doesn't work on dogs, cats, or homeless people - I seem to be a beacon.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @06:38PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @06:38PM (#1211573)

    Let's say the US perfects this first. Number one!

    Within weeks, all of North, Central and South America go under direct US military control. In a fit of panic, some of Brazil's nukes get fired off randomly. Tens of millions dead.

    China manages to get the plans from an unsecured server. All of Asia goes under Chinese control in the following few weeks. AUKUS tries to protect their "interests" and bombs Shanghai. In response, China cloaks some nukes and drops one on NYC and one on Sydney.

    Stockmarket collapses. Global trade immediately halts. Hyperinflation becomes the norm overnight. Truce is quickly made.

    US gives tech to the UK and Isreal, China gives it to Russia and NK. "For mutual defense".

    Africa, the ME and Europe are inevitably carved up over the next few weeks in negotiations by the invisibility-owning powers. Shock troops just appear out of nowhere all over the planet, if a government or a people have any "issues" with the new arrangement.

    Police are given invisibility cloaks after they begin to voice concerns over safety. People begin to get fined/arrested everywhere for the most minuscule of infractions. Police and government claim that it is an amazing success. Now the population is totally under control - as every moment of the day some goon could be watching and listening to you. Between hidden visual observation indoors and enhanced satellite tracking outdoors, there is now no place for the uncloaked to hide. People still manage to struggle on through.

    Criminals kill a cop and get their hands on a cloak. Mafia scientists figure it out. Crime skyrockets to proportions never seen. There are battles in the street in every population center all over the world. Rapes and murders in insane numbers.

    Even the billionaire class on their islands are now helpless. Continued hyperinflation finally makes them as money-poor as the rest.

    We finally enter a world where the only way to speak without being recorded or noted is to hide and use finger touching inside the other persons' armpits, or other concealed area, or to kiss and use a tongue touching language. Although the second option falls out of favour as new Isreali tech can record the slurping sounds at a distance of 300 metres and can convert those sounds into text. The tech is enhanced and can soon translate any finger-touch communication, seen or unseen. All communication with others is now suspect. All personal safety has disappeared.

    Going to sleep now requires pills, as no one can get to sleep naturally - maybe someone is hiding in plain sight inside your very bedroom. Just waiting to murder and rape. Every little noise now produces shock, or maintains the shock, a slight puff of wind, a stick caught on your trousers, the buzz of an insect. Every room and every location must now be continually scanned. Simple concentration starts to become impossible under the stress. Almost the entire population go on stress inhibitors.

    A majority of people cross over the line into insanity and exhaustion as life becomes an unmanageable 24/7 paranoid nightmare. Millions of suicides. More drugs supplied to combat the psychological issues.

    Billions are then killed as the political and military class also finally succumb to total paranoia and psychopathy. Cloaking and killing each other in leadership spills. Stalin's work looks like a rounding-error, the Roman Empire leadership appears sane by comparison.

    It all finally settles down and Earth becomes a global Egypt / NK. Forever.

    The end.
    (c) SLR

    • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Monday January 10, @09:40PM

      by Dr Spin (5239) on Monday January 10, @09:40PM (#1211619)

      Sir,

      you have read far to much sci-fi, and not enough political hokum.

      I do not think it would be long before a significant number of blind people, armed with attack-bats and pepper spray, incapacitate the entire USA,

      Russia uses excessive force on nothing at all and incapacitates itself,

      Europe is incapacitated by inability to take any kind of decision,

      Sharks with Lasers incapacitate both North and South Korea,

      and Africa would carry on as normal - in complete shambles.

      --
      Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
  • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Monday January 10, @10:45PM

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Monday January 10, @10:45PM (#1211631)

    Invisibility would be cool and all, but Molybdenum Trioxide (a-MoO3) and Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) don't sound like things I would want near my body.
    (I am not a scientician. So I really don't know.)

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