Invisibility Cloak comes to the Real World

by Claire McKenna

Currently scientists are in the process of making every Harry Potter fan’s dream come true by developing the world’s first invisibility cloak. Almost every person who has either read the Harry Potter series or seen the movies would know how amazing this is. In the series Harry used his invisibility cloak to sneak out late or go into sections of the school where he was not allowed to go. Now, if the cloak continues to be developed, a real person could also be invisible.

Currently the cloak that is being developed is made out of “nanoantennas made of tiny gold blocks.” The cloth itself is incredibly thin and only is 80 nanometers thick. The measurement nanometers are one billionth of a meter, and a sheet of printer paper is 100,000 nanometers thick so you could imagine how thin this cloak would be. The scientists made the cloth very thin because then the light can bounce off of it and change our view of the thing underneath. It will bend the waves of light so that people won’t be able to what is under it. When the light hits the cloak it would scatter and create the illusion that there was nothing occupying that space. One of the scientists that is developing this cloak, Boubacar Kanté said, “All it requires is a clever manipulation of our perception.” He was talking about invisibility, and that it is not impossible to achieve, it will take a lot of trials and errors.

This cloak would change our lives if it ever were to come out for people to buy or sell. Recently Rodchester University has been working on an invisibility cloak that cost about $1,000 to make. The cost to make them is predicted to go down if the cloaks would be mass produced because the materials could be ordered in bulk. The full invisibility cloaks are not quite ready to be mass produced, but the military is already using a form of nanotechnology to aid camouflage while fighting. This is not as effective as the new cloaks that are currently being made, but they satisfy the needs of the military as of right now. However, if a fully functioning invisibility cloak was to come out, the military would likely use it due to the fact that they are already interested in improving their camouflage with new technology. There is no definite answer as to whether these cloaks would be up for retail sale, but this would be an important decision that the United States Government would want to be a part of because of the military’s potential stake in that market. If used by the military, the US Government wouldn’t want enemy forces to replicate the cloak or recognize ways to prevent the technology from working correctly. Although nearly everyone would be interested in purchasing their own personal invisibility cloak, there are also some downsides to having this on the market. A cloak being sold to anyone could lead to problems such as criminals not detected or security issues. I think that this upcoming invention will be one to look out for in the future and will be a unique form of technology that can shape the modern world in many ways.

Sources:

http://time.com/4042506/invisibility-cloak/

http://www.yalescientific.org/2013/04/the-next-frontier-real-life-invisibility-cloaks/

http://www.livescience.com/52216-ultrathin-invisibility-cloak.html

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/UCSD-Engineers-Design-Slimmer-Invisibility-Cloak-329733171.html

Image credit: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/harrypotter/images/a/ad/Invisiblebody.JPG/revision/latest?cb=20100803030420