I can just see the signs now: Be alert (but not alarmed), invisible missiles ahead.

Though I shudder at the thought of invisible military operations, the development of “metamaterial” cloaks, which can render objects invisible by making light flow around and past them, would certainly make surprise parties more interesting.

What other applications could come from this? Up close animal documentaries? Invincible martial artists? Street salesmen you can’t dodge? Leave your suggestions.

Science tripping the light fantastic
Ian Sample, London
October 21, 2006

IT WON’T help you sneak around Hogwarts without being seen, but scientists have unveiled the world’s first cloaking device, a technology designed to make solid objects disappear.

Cloaking devices are coveted by the military, which can see a new age of stealth technology that hides planes and other vehicles from radar.

More advanced versions could ultimately be good enough to make objects or people invisible.

2 Responses to “Metamaterialism”

  1. 1 Claire November 5, 2006 at 8:06 am

    This fantastical development substantiates a long held belief of mine - my occasionally shared “Star Trek theorem” on science, life and the universe - which states that:

    What is possible in the realm of Star Trek will be one day possible in our lives.

    Or, in broader terms, in this arguably impossible-to-ever-comprehend universe, if our minds have the capacity to imagine a thing, then it has the potential to exist - somewhere, sometime.

    I’m not sure how this would apply to the more outlandish of film and literary materials, but we have seen it come to pass with several concepts first raised on Star Trek. Of course, this latest development mirrors (heheh) the well known concept of the Romulan cloaking device, albeit in a rudimentary form. More on cloaking devices here:

  2. 2 Misagh November 5, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Claire, it seems we share this fundamental theorem, except mine extends to “The Jetsons” as well :-). Perhaps this is because I’m not a hard core Trekkie, unlike almost all friends with whom I enjoy good conversations! I know I’m just in denial and one day, undoubtedly, I’ll convert.

    Yes, in a non-time based reality, potential is reality, and the conception of something lies in imagining it. This is perhaps how our thoughts, also, can create our reality.

    I look forward to time travel, painless warp speed and tight skivvies.


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