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posted by martyb on Monday January 10 2022, @07:59AM   Printer-friendly
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: 2) by looorg on Monday January 10 2022, @08:39AM (7 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday January 10 2022, @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.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday January 10 2022, @08:45AM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday January 10 2022, @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 2022, @11:38AM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10 2022, @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 2022, @11:26PM

        by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday January 12 2022, @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 science of the art of the science of art.
  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday January 10 2022, @09:14AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10 2022, @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 2022, @01:23PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10 2022, @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 2022, @04:48PM

      by Spamalope (5233) on Monday January 10 2022, @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 2022, @05:37PM

    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 11 2022, @05:37PM (#1211826)

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

    --
    Answer now is don't give in; aim for a new tomorrow.