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Is Invisibility Possible? Cloaking for the Next Generation

[ 0 ] Posted by on September 20, 2012

Schroedinger Hat

Invisibility is something that almost everyone had envisioned at some point or another, but so far it has remained an elusive power only available to superheroes.  There have been a lot of recent innovations in technology and the understanding of the physical principles that may actually hold the secret to realizing invisibility.  This has lead to cloaking apparatuses that are the next generation of tools towards this end.

Schroedinger’s Hat

One of these advances is related to matter waves and something known in physics circles as the “Schrodinger’s Hat.”  While not far enough advanced to create optical illusions leading to complete invisibility to the unaided eye, the Schrodinger’s Hat has had some success with manipulating sound and light waves.  An invisible container with the ability to boost matter waves based on incredibly complex mathematical equations is the work of a group of scientists from the University of Washington.  Find more here:

Slowing Light

Other advances take the approach of masking an entire event rather than simply making an object invisible.  A time masker is the term used to describe this incredible play in physics.  Cornell University scientists have created a time mask that can hide an event as long as it only lasts 40 trillionths of a second.  A far stretch from being put in a device for real life useful applications, but at this point it is still a concept.  The details may never allow for a large-scale implementation, but that is yet to be determined.  Rather than altering the 3-D flow of light, Cornell University is looking at how to slow the light down.  This creates a discrepancy on the timeline that effectively hides the incredibly small event. The project can be read about here:

Hamming It UP

Ham radio operators are not to be left out in the search for the elusive invisibility cloak.  Since 2008 a wideband invisibility cloak has been show to be a reality, but the implementations have been lagging.  That is no longer the case with can make antenna masks disappear and could lead to technology that might create invisible missiles and other military applications.  It is a patent-pending process that takes ham radio to a whole new level.  See how to hide the radio waves here:

Military Of The Future

The military forces of the world are of course very interested in this stealth invisibility cloak technology.  One implementation is the Adaptiv infrared cloaking technology that can be place on tanks in order to mimic infrared signatures of less hostile vehicles.  By making a heavy tank look like a jeep there will likely be no detection by many of the methods available for reconnaissance.  Read about that here:  Keeping soldiers invisible while remaining in sight has always been an important component of battle.

So with a glance at the advances in the next generation cloaking technologies listed above, it should be clear that much more is possible than even a few years ago.  It still remains to be seen if and when a complete invisibility cloak, in the manner that many layman imagine it, will ever come to light.  Proponents say that it is only a matter of time before the advanced techniques will create this inevitable technology.  Others are more pessimistic, but it certainly looks like there will continue to be more cool toys created for those with enough money to enjoy them.

This has been a guest contribution!

This article was written by Karl Stockton for the team at

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About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 25, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. View author profile.

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