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Engineers Devise Invisibility Shield

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the impossibly-large-yellow-somethings dept.

Technology 316

GerritHoll points out an article in Nature according to which "researchers at the University of Pennsylvania 'say that a "plasmonic cover" could render objects "nearly invisible to an observer.' Earlier attempts at invisibility worked by colouring a screen to match its background, like a chameleon. The described technique is new, because it works by the concept of reducing light scattering. It is not a 'magic cloak,' however, because it will not work for the full range of visible light and needs to be adjusted precisely for the shape of the object. However, the concept could find an application in stealth technology."

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Invisibility cloaking (4, Interesting)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810462)

It is not a 'magic cloak,' however.

Like this [ananova.com] ?

Well, that actually requires a special viewfinder, so it's not quite as cool, but it sure *looks* awesome. Better than the "spot the spaceship" pic, anyway.

How long til I can buy this stuff at Walmart?

Re:Invisibility cloaking (2, Informative)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810499)

The photograph was taken through a viewfinder that uses a combination of moving images taken behind the wearer to give a transparent effect.

ergo, it doesn't do a damn thing this is just photoshop of an "artist conception".

Re:Invisibility cloaking (4, Interesting)

kngthdn (820601) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810514)

Here's an interesting article about it on the Scotsman [scotsman.com] .

It says, Similarly, researchers in Tokyo are developing a camouflage fabric that uses a comparable principle where the background is projected on to light-reflecting beads in the material. Such systems are, however, dependent on the viewer from which the object is being concealed being in the right position.

I see no mention of Photoshop, but it does say it could be used by surgeons and pilots. Sounds pretty cool to me.

Re:Invisibility cloaking (5, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810564)

Why do surgeons need an invisibility cloak? To hide from malpractice lawsuits?

Re:Invisibility cloaking (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810674)

Why are you such an asshat? Did the pediatrician who delivered you spank you too hard because of his shock and awe that you were so ugly?

Re:Invisibility cloaking (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810694)

According to the site it's because the hypothetical surgeon can't see what he's doing because his hand is in the way. The only problem is I'd need to stick a camera in front of my hand to get an image, and this would sort of interfere with any instrument I was using. Oh well, it's a good thing (most) surgery is not as complicated as all that...

Re:Invisibility cloaking (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810579)

How long til I can buy this stuff at Walmart?
As soon as they can find a way to make this stuff in China.

Cloak of invisibility? (5, Funny)

xsfo (604140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810468)

What sort of armor class do you get with that?

Re:Cloak of invisibility? (1, Offtopic)

randallpowell (842587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810633)

+0 since it provides invisiblity only. Now, if you made it from scratch and had good rolls, you could have a cloak with invisibilty, +5 AC, saving throws, and AC.

I'm refering to the real D&D: the basic system. AD&D is good but too complex and d20 is like EverCrack on crack.

Re:Cloak of invisibility? (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810679)

Yea, now it's a concealment of 50%, no AC modifier.

Whatever. Engineers will be casting See Invisibility soon enough ;)

Re:Cloak of invisibility? (4, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810753)

> What sort of armor class do you get with that?

I'd tell you, but I can't find the fucking thing.

Bending of light (0)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810470)

I thought this was only possible if we could bend the light waves so that the waves circumvent an obstracle.

Re:Bending of light (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810487)

...obstracle.

Obstracle = obstruction + obstacle?

Everybody knows (3, Funny)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810473)

Making something invisible is easy: all you have to do is generate a Somebody Else's Problem field of sufficient size.

(Seriously, am I the only one who looked at this, saw the word 'plasmonic', and thought "Fucking Slashdot editors, its *March 1st*, not *April 1st*"?)

Re:Everybody knows (3, Funny)

Burning Plastic (153446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810546)

You also need a large can of pink paint or something else to make the object truly abnormal before a SEP field will work properly.

Having a spaceship that looks like a small upended Italian bistro is a good start...

Re:Everybody knows (2, Funny)

w42w42 (538630) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810548)

Invisible hell. One more drink past that and I can fly.

Re:Everybody knows (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810772)

Flying is a simpler problem. You just need to miss the ground.

obligatory (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810475)

I didn't see that one coming.

For my house (1)

PyraX (825376) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810476)

how would that look as you were driving down the street :)

Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (5, Informative)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810480)

Those who read the article until the end will note that they save the kicker for the very end:


This technology would only work for microscopic objects (as they must be the same size as the wavelength of light hitting it), and only a single wavelength. So in other words, for you to get a nice, new cloak of invisibility you'll need to be microscopic in size and constantly in environments with only one wavelength of visible light hitting you. =)


Well, back to the drawing board.

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (2, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810502)

This isn't as much of an issue as you might think. Imagine coating a stealth aircraft with very precisely made microscopic dust, and applying this technology to the particles. You'll end up with a macroscopic, radar invisible airplane.

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (1)

wizard_of_wor (849406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810522)

... but still only invisible in a single frequency of light. The particles would reflect or diffract light or other frequencies, so you're back to having a gray aircraft that, under a very precisely calibrated light, would disappear.

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (4, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810560)

Planes are relatively small, and the sky is big. One really needs microwaves to detect a plane flying at high speed. Notice that I said radar invisible. It's well known that the stealth aircraft skins are very bumpy, with smaller bumps on the larger, to increase unidirectional scattering at various frequencies. Moreover, they use an anti-reflective coating. I suspect that this, if tuned to microwaves and built a few layers deep, would be used (if it isn't already) by the military, as it would effectively increase the bumpiness to microscopic levels.

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (3, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810749)

To say that a stealth aircraft is invisible to RADAR is a tad misleading. There are numerous ways to exploit the nature of the technology - current stealth for the most part relies on surfaces that reflect much of the energy anywhere but directly back to the emitter.

A simple example. Radar 'transmitter' and 'receiving' system located at an offset from each other. A distance measuring a few hundred meters to a number of kilometers. Scatter from stealth aircraft is easily picked up. (I speak from experience here) RADAR absorbing material is not very sponge like, just drops the return by a couple of DB for typical RADAR/EW emitters (400MHz-6GHz ish), nothing huge. Stealth is not really as complicated as 'they' say.

Stealth can also be picked up by most primary RADAR emitters (Air traffic control for example), it's more likely to be 'filtered' off the PPI, but can still be seen if the operator desires. Think small flock of birds. The kind of crud that is marginal and usually ignored.

Until non-microwave-reflective material can be used to build the entire aircraft, it will only ever work against low-tech level targets. By non-reflective I mean 'not reflect anything between 0khz-100GHz'

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (1)

6th time lucky (811282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810570)

And what is radar other than very precisely calibrated electromagnetic radiation (ie light)?

I feel so cheated! (4, Funny)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810572)

This article is like going to a movie after seeing the really great preview, and finding out that the really great preview contains every single really great moment in the movie.

Re:Indeed, it's pretty far from advertised... (1)

gipsy boy (796148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810743)

What about making a big "bee-hive" of millions of tiny cells of this? If you'd connect them with microscopically small grooves, it'd work rather well I think for any size of shape.
You'd probably get something not very different from what Snake wore in the intro movie to MGS2, which is pretty cool.

When it's reliable enough... (3, Funny)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810481)

... to let me sneak undetected into a ladies locker room, then we'll talk.

Re:When it's reliable enough... (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810535)

Why do you need that, when you could just use a small piece of board with a hole cut in it, ala Family Guy?

Re:When it's reliable enough... (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810537)

We won't need locker rooms then. Everyone will have their invisable underwear on. Hmm...wasn't there a fairtale that went something like that?..

Re:When it's reliable enough... (1)

beatnitup (616700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810682)

"It is not a 'magic cloak,' however, because it will not work for the full range of visible light and needs to be adjusted precisely for the shape of the object." I guess cloaking a bonener is out of the question.

Re:When it's reliable enough... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810715)

I guess cloaking a bonener is out of the question.

You're right, it wouldn't conceal my boner, since the article stated that it had to be a small object.... Oh, never mind.

invisible?? (3, Interesting)

Awol411 (799294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810482)

the whole basis of this is to stop the scattering of light that the object emits. so if there was no scattering, then wouldnt the object still appear black. sooo. couldnt you just look for the object that's all black. might work well in space or night time, but at 2pm on a sunny afternoon, i think i'll be able to spot the large black body trying to hide.

Re:invisible?? (1)

Samari711 (521187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810673)

that's only if the object absorbs the light, which this shielding apparenlty doesn't do. There's still the whole problem about it needing to be microscopic to work for visible light though.

I already have one of these (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810483)

See, it hides my identity when I post on Slashdot!

Re:I already have one of these (0)

myukew (823565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810680)

oh, my name seems to be longer than the wavelength of light...

Re:I already have one of these (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810698)

I have one too!

Re:I already have one of these (5, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810705)

Oops.

Obvious Applications (4, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810488)

I can think of a couple of obvious applications, especially if the technology can be adapted to scatter microwaves. Tanks and mechanized infantry are pretty obvious, but I think we want to avoid battleships unless we want a repeat of the Philadelpha Experiment and the crappy movie versions (though I loved the first one as a kid).

But what about non-military uses? Perhaps a "coat" of plasma on windows to reduce cooling bills in the summer? Or another coat of plasma on TV's to reduce glare? I can't think of anything particularly inspiring.

Re:Obvious Applications (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810734)

Yay for not RTFA

Microscopic size only.

Re:Obvious Applications (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810760)

Scatter the microwave as much as required, place receiving antenna on all your platforms to pick up said scatter and send it back to the source. Source computes the result, tank is dead anyway.

You NEED to make the microwaves disappear through absorption, or reflect straight down into the ground.

Just what I was waiting for (3, Funny)

schestowitz (843559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810491)

This is awesome. Can I use this on my mother?

Re:Just what I was waiting for (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810519)

This is awesome. Can I use this on my mother?

I already used it on your mother many years ago. That's right; I'm your deadbeat dad, but you'll never catch me.

Restrictions far too great (3, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810494)

The object being hidden has to be less than the about the wavelength of the light. So, unless you are nanometers in size, you won't be hidden from visible light.

And it only works on one frequency. Meaning, unless you are nanometers in size, and you are in a room with only red light, you won't be hidden.

This isn't that great. I wouldn't read too much into it.

Re:Restrictions far too great (2, Insightful)

digitallife (805599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810545)

Whatever. *I* think its neat. When the telegraph was invented, no one could imagine a telephone... let alone an internet.

Re:Restrictions far too great (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810609)

So, far example, you could use this technology to be invisible to light in the radio bands, which have wavelengths measured in meters?

Re:Restrictions far too great (1)

figment (22844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810628)

You're right that it's not that special, but i think it's more obvious when you realize what's the current technology out there.

It already is possible to create a 'stealth' type of shield by manipulating thin films (width exactly equal to 1/2 the wavelength of a particular light) to create destructive interference so nothing is reflected. Use multiple coats of differing thickness, and you can wipe out quite a bit of the spectrum. The theory behind this is well known and nothing more than undergrad physics. Fab obviously is harder, but the US defense sector is quite able to do it at this current time.

Obviously this technique is notsogood for say, visual invisibility, but works well against radar etc.

Has Anyone Seen James Bond Before (1)

horsebutt (714262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810495)

Didn't James Bond's Car in "Die Another Day" (I think it was that one) have this.

And If so, Does that mean that the makers of james bond can claim prior art on this idea.

Just another case of people copying movies for ideas :-)

Re:Has Anyone Seen James Bond Before (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810654)

Bond with prior art? I don't think so. The Thermoptics from Ghost in the Shell were way before this, and there were most likely stories about invisibility devices way before that. As well as stories of invisibility throughout history.

But wait... (1)

Omkar (618823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810496)

So they think they can eliminate light scattering. What about light absorption?

Re:But wait... (1)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810701)

From TFA: "We see objects because light bounces off them; if this scattering of light could be prevented (and if the objects didn't absorb any light) they would become invisible.".
What about light absorption then?

Sounds like someone's been tokin' the hookah (4, Funny)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810503)


From the article: "And crucially, the effect only works when the wavelength of the light being scattered is roughly the same size as the object. So shielding from visible light would be possible only for microscopic objects."

OK. So if I have this straight... "You see that thing you can't see because it's too small? Well we just made it invisible! Please send more grant funding. And a few burritos. We're like, totally hungry dude."

Uh huh....

Re:Sounds like someone's been tokin' the hookah (1)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810523)

What if this concept works for other EM waves, like radar, for instance?

I don't remember the precise wavelength of most radar waves, but they are rather long (I'm thinking meters). Could a small-sized object be hidden from radar by this "invisibility" shield?

Re:Sounds like someone's been tokin' the hookah (4, Informative)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810585)


"Could a small-sized object be hidden from radar by this "invisibility" shield?"

Millimeters to centimeters typical for radar. If you're looking to hide a large object, as in plane/ship length, you need to get into HF radio wavelengths (10-160m).

So you could hide it from... ham radio operators. On a single section of one band. Yeah, the Romulans ain't sweatin' this one. :-)

Re:Sounds like someone's been tokin' the hookah (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810544)

Minimizing scattering is no small feat. As they point
out it could be very useful to me, since I would be
very interested to use nanoscale probes near an
object yet still see it in optical microscope with
little to no distortion.
This may also lead to cheap ways to probe the amount
of light in fiber so you could instantly tell if a
fiber cable is aging or if it was cut then where
exactly. In short, this could be very useful, just
not for hiding those spaceships.

Can you see me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810506)

"However, the concept could find an application in stealth technology."

Hiding Windows.

Old News (1, Offtopic)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810507)

Optical Camouflage (with movies) [u-tokyo.ac.jp]

BBC article [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Old News (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810716)

Actually it's a different article.

Actually... (1)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810508)

It is not a 'magic cloak,' however, because it will not work for the full range of visible light and needs to be adjusted precisely for the shape of the object.

...I think it's not a 'magic cloak' because magic only works in books and movies.

Re:Actually... (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810552)

Actually "magic does in fact exist and we've known about it for over 2000 years."
-Dave Chappel, President of the United States

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810565)

I think someone needs to learn how quotation marks modify a word's meaning.

Ghost in the shell.... (1)

smartsaga (804661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810510)

I knew it!!!!

I knew it!!!!

I knew it!!!!

I knew it!!!!

Your invisibility are belong to us... get it?

Have a good one.

Re:Ghost in the shell.... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810637)

Yeah, but will the user have to bare her boobies to use it?

An application? (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810515)

This got me thinking:
It is not a 'magic cloak,' however, because it will not work for the full range of visible light and needs to be adjusted precisely for the shape of the object. However, the concept could find an application in stealth technology.
What kind of application would involve a fized object of known shape? How about a camera and it's controls/batteries/wireless? Use it as fake merchandise on a top shelf at a convenience store. Or books on a top shelf of an office. For that matter, a "invisibility" that could project a faked image (hologram or objects behind/around the camera) would be another good concealment method. I know there are already fake things with cameras in them, but something that could change appearance would be quite handy...

Obligatory (you knew it was coming) (1, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810518)

I, for one, welcome our invisible robo-army overlords.

Re:Obligatory (you knew it was coming) (1)

usernotfound (831691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810530)

Invisible nano-nano-nano bots

Mirror Mirror on the Wall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810521)

Let me get this straight.

1) It doesn't scatter light
2) It doesn't absorb light

Does this sound like a mirror to anyone?

Re:Mirror Mirror on the Wall. (1)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810685)

Technically speaking, a regular mirror does both scattering and absorbing.

Re:Mirror Mirror on the Wall. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810713)

3) It doesn't reflect light

So, no.

Invisible HUMAN (3, Funny)

page275 (862917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810525)

Here is the technique let yourself invisible, try it yourself: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=439508 [sciforums.com]

Re:Invisible HUMAN (1)

zach_d (782013) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810732)

thats not actually as silly as it sounds, there are lots of stories of special forces soldiers using techniques similar to those in the parents link to avoid detection... not saying it would work in an office, but still...

Also... (5, Funny)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810531)

From the article:
...it would be more like the shielding used by the Romulans in the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror" in 1966, which hid their spaceships at the push of a button.

...it's called a "cloaking device", you insensitive clod!

Great! This is JUST what I needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11810543)

... to hide the booze, the weed, the girls... Oh wait, where did the girls go?

I can't wank in privacy anymore! (1)

dauthur (828910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810549)

Oh great. Overwhelming smell of "invasion of privacy" has just landed in my nostrils. I don't think our government would have such a problem with deficits, no matter the president, if police had advanced forms of these things.

captain obvious (3, Funny)

shannara256 (262093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810553)

the concept could find an application in stealth technology.

Really? Invisibility could be used for tasks requiring stealth? No way, that's crazy talk.

What about other wavelengths? (2, Insightful)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810557)

What if this concept works for other EM waves, like radar, for instance? I don't remember the precise wavelength of most radar waves, but they are rather long (I'm thinking meters). Could an object smaller than the wavelength of a certain radar be stealthed by this "invisibility" shield?

Re:What about other wavelengths? (1)

Sperryfreak01 (855471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810580)

damn you posted your comment as i was typing mine now i just look stupid, congrats on getting there first

Re:What about other wavelengths? (1)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810617)

That's okay, mnemonic showed us both up and takes the cookie.

As it turns out, radar has a wavlength range from centimeters to millimeters...so we may be hiding sand a gravel from radar instead of planes.

"precise wavelength of most radar waves" (2, Interesting)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810614)

You probably don't remember it because it doesn't exist. There are numerous radars using everything from millimeter waves (MMW) to multi meter long waves. Each type has its own specific uses, though I've heard that MMW radar is the most difficult technology to develop. But IANAEE (electrical engineer).

Re:"precise wavelength of most radar waves" (2, Insightful)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810647)

I did some research [aewa.org] , and I found that VHF and UHF bands (about 6 to .3 meters wavelength) are used for long range serveiliance. So hiding a small object from long range radar may be possible...but other than that it's a long shot.

Radar posibilities (1)

Sperryfreak01 (855471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810567)

Im not usre how larege the wavelength of radar used in military applications but couldn't it be used to hide something,such as a UAV quite well from radar but still visibile if the wavelength of radar was large enough.

been investigated a bit before (4, Informative)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810576)

U.S. Air Force scientists looked into generating a field of plasma around an aircraft to reduce aerodynamic drag. One unexpected effect was a reduction of RCS (radar cross section, a rough measure of radar visibility), though to my knowledge the research has not been pursued (it probably continues in classified state, just like the plasma toroid ABM system 7 years ago...). Of course, this is EM radiation in the radio portin of the specturm, not optical.

Russian electrodynamicists are also infamously known for proposing "plasma stealth" devices, which have yet to be demonstrated veritably well. Every few months something pops up about how they've solved high power requirements, reduced weight of the devices, eliminated interferce with the aircraft's EM devices (radar and comm/nav, which critical to everything) and problem Y. And then, you see nothing of it in any journal or trade publication. Just claims, and it seems, nothing more.

Notably, plasma radar stealth has an opposite effect of the optical stealth. The aircraft would glow like a lightbulb, and leave a trail of glowing plasma in its wake. Also notably, aircraft at high hypersonic speeds induce a local plasma air environment, due to the tremendous energy of the aerodynamics.

One SMALL key point... (1)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810581)

It was probably designed for RADAR avoidance technique, and visible light is more of a anomaly of the real thing. 2ndly. I'm just curious, what if we would have millions's of those small objects that are invisible to visible light, creating the aircraft frame. And any internal components would be painted black. So it would improve the camoflage of the aircraft, by making its wings invisible.

black helicopters not cutting it anymore? (1)

aaron240 (618080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810586)

Seriously, as it stands I barely notice the government tracking machines that follow me around. Now they're going to be invisible?! I can't keep up. *stomps tinfoil hat in disgust*

Bummer (1)

tavilach (715455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810588)

Yesterday, I had gotten caught trying to steal a few subatomic particles from Radio Shack. After being held at the police station for a few hours, I was finally released on the grounds that a Radio Shack employee had in fact stolen them from another source. Nevertheless, if I had walked into the store with some of this plasmonic stuff, gotten a friend to cut the power in the store, and walked around holding a microwave (just for the hell of it), I could have stolen my subatomic particles unnoticed. Bummer. Technology progresses too fast, these days.

I already have one of these. (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810594)

It's made me invisible to women for 10 years now.
I wish I could turn it off.

Can I watch DVD's on the side of a tank? (0, Troll)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810615)

Cause, you may as well watch a few good movies...

Re:Can I watch DVD's on the side of a tank? (0, Offtopic)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810737)

There are so many virus definitions out there these days that occasionally hotmail rejects one of my clean attachments because the binary code in the archived attachment accidently happens to have a virus definition in it.

Yes, it is that bad.

Research abstract (4, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810635)

Here's an obligatory link to the pre-print research paper and the abstract:

http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0502336 [arxiv.org]

Achieving transparency with plasmonic coatings

Andrea Alu, Nader Engheta [upenn.edu]

The possibility of using plasmonic covers to drastically reduce the total scattering cross section of spherical and cylindrical objects is discussed. While it is intuitively expected that increasing the physical size of an object may lead to an increase in its overall scattering cross section, here we see how a proper design of these lossless metamaterial covers near their plasma resonance may induce a dramatic drop in the scattering cross section, making the object nearly invisible to an observer, a phenomenon with obvious applications for low observability and non invasive probe design. Physical insights into this phenomenon and some numerical results are provided.

Alternivly (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810655)

Get everyone to wear blindfolds and then we can see what is going on and probably would all be happier

Rus

The shadow effect (5, Interesting)

Dikeman (620856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810660)

The article puts two techniques next to eachother, as if it were alternatives for the same problem. This is false.
The proposed system with plasmonic covering reduces the scattering of light. The lightwaves pass by the object as were the object very small, smaller than it actually is. Hence it only works with objects that are allready very small, because otherwise the object would cast a shadow. (Light passes by, not through)
The system with light detectors and emitters mimics the scene that is behind (bigger) objects with respect to the viewer. You could actualy say that it fills in the shadow cast by the object.

So were the first system reduces the shadow effect, the second replaces the shadow alltogether. I could actualy see these two systems used along side eachother rather than instead of eachother.

Obligitory Start Trek Quote (0)

Supernoma (794214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810675)

Engage cloaking device!

500 Nanometer Romulan Warbirds, perhaps... (3, Informative)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810687)

"And crucially, the effect only works when the wavelength of the light being scattered is roughly the same size as the object."

Visible light is around 400nm (violet) to 800nm (red). So, this is only effective for sufficiently tiny battleships.

Speaking from personal experience, (2, Funny)

likewowandstuff (859213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810699)

I'm about five-eight, and deep-seated insecurity seems to hide me from most things. Does anyone else have similar experiences?

A month early (0)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810703)

Shouldn't this have been saved for the start of next month?

No I didn't F RTFA.

Article Title Deceptive. (2, Interesting)

Tavor (845700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810718)

It's not an "Invisibility Shield"... it's a useless optical illusion designed to fool everything.

*Say you somehow got this to work for a tank.*
>You chug along.
>Enemies hear you, but can not see you.
>Enemies open up, blind-firing.
>Though the Enemies have given away their positions, your tank is damaged to the point that it is no longer battleworthy.
*Congrats, Soldier. You just lost.*

Wow.... (2, Interesting)

groupthink (568205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11810747)

So many different applications...

The concept could find uses in stealth technology and camouflage.

Stealth and camouflage!

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