Invisibility has been a figment of our imagination for several years now. Since the beginning of science, scientist have been fascinated by four main things, Flight, Alchemy, Eternal Life, and Invisibility – Kind of a weird mix if you ask me.
While great advancements have been made in all departments, Invisibility is probably one of the most intriguing for scientist and people alike.
We are probably years before we can achieve full invisibility and cloaking devices, but scientist from Duke University have managed to effectively hide a block of wood from sound waves, making them 100% invisible to sonar, or echo detection devices. —hey it’s a start.
The “cloaking” Device is a series of plastic sheets with several small holes around the entire surface of the plastic. Ortwin Hess, a director of Imperial College London’s Centre for Plasmonics and Metamaterials, called the work “a really remarkable experimental demonstration.” what’s more impressive is that almost anyone can do this. The experiment was so simple that it missed the scientists’ eyes for nearly 3 years. “It’s almost like someone could take a pencil and poke holes in a particular way in the plastic,” once you made the holes, you can place this device on top of a 10cm long piece of wood and it effectively makes it disappear.
I’m sure you know how Sonar works, but in case you don’t, sonar sends out a small sound beep or “ping” towards a direction, when an object is in the way, echo vibrations and sound is bounced back to the sonar receiver, Effectively showing the location of an object on a surface. However when this cloaking device is placed on top of the object, the sonar waves pass right through it as if nothing is there, the sonar is tricked into believing that the surface is flat.
Meaning, you can put this on a boat, and it could effectively hide from submarines… so there is still a lot of work to be done with this… for starters, they will have to find another type of material other than plastic, they will also have to figure out how the boat is going to fit on top of this device. But at least, the principle is there and that’s all that counts right now.