It’s a big (little) step for cloaking technology
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.washingtonpost.com
When you look at someone, you see them because your brain is able to interpret the way light is scattered by their face and body. The new cloak works by disrupting that ability. Most cloaking devices in development work by funneling the light that would normally hit an object away from it. The new cloak changes the way the light scatters, creating the illusion of a surface as flat as a mirror instead of the actual object’s shape.
It accomplishes this using a thin layer of material (called a metasurface) made of magnesium fluoride, which is covered in millions of tiny golden antennae — each about 1/1000th the width of a human hair. “Each antenna is designed to react with the light and scatter it back,” corresponding author Xiang Zhang, director of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, told The Post. “They actually delay the light, delay the reflection, in such a way that every point of your face would reflect light as if from a flat surface, like a mirror.” Zhang freely admits that there’s a lot of work to do before invisibility cloaks like his can be made useful.