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Invisibility block brings cloaking technology a step closer

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:14

Feb. 19 - Scientists in Singapore have discovered a way to make objects disappear from view by bending light around them. The technology has potential for use in the military and for surveillance, but could also be applied for other purposes such as disguising unsightly objects on buildings. Rob Muir reports.

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Scientists in Singapore have discovered a way to make objects disappear from view by bending light around them. The technology has potential for use in the military and for surveillance, but also for more mundane purposes like disguising unsightly objects on buildings. STORY: Zhang Baile is an assistant professor at Nanyang technological university..but he's also something of a magician, making solid objects apparently disappear. It's a trick created by carefully angled blocks of glass that bend light around a central object. It only works when viewed from head on but, with more research Zhang believes it could be developed for all kinds of uses. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZHANG BAILE, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR DISRUPTIVE PHOTONIC TECHNOLOGIES, SAYING: "For example, inside a building, if you have some unsightly pipes, or wires, or structures you want to hide, then you can use this design to hide them." The technology also has potential application for surveillance and military concealment. And using the same principles, Zhang has developed a hexaganol block of glass that can hide objects in water from six different directions, using the water's own properties of refraction. For Zhang's supervisor, Nicolay ZHOLdiev, the research marks a big step toward developing a cloaking concept. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIKOLAY ZHELUDEV, DIRECTOR AT NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR DISRUPTIVE PHOTONIC TECHNOLOGIES, SAYING: "This is the first time a macroscopic object, a cat, or a fish can be cloaked. This is the importance of this work." And the work continues. Zhang's focus now is to make obstacles to a better cloaking device, disappear.

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Invisibility block brings cloaking technology a step closer

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:14