Fans of all things magical and related to Harry Potter will be happy to know scientists are hard at work turning Harry’s famous invisibility cloak–the one that allows him to maraud about Hogwarts undetected by the likes of Snape and Mr. Filch–from pure fantasy into reality.
Skeptical are you? Have a little faith!
Andrew Bridges of the Associated Press reports in an article called “Harry Potter-like Invisibility Cloak Theoretically Possible” that scientists are busy “laying out a blueprint for turning science fiction into reality” and that “nothing’s stopping them from making such a cloak”–at least in theory. They are still working out the bugs for the materials necessary.
How does it work then? All you need are a few “exotic materials with an ability to steer light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation around a cloaked object, rendering it as invisible as something tucked into a hole in space,” writes Bridges. “Instead, like a river streaming around a smooth boulder, light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation would strike the cloak and simply flow around it, continuing on as if it never bumped up against an obstacle. That would give an onlooker the apparent ability to peer right through the cloak, with everything tucked inside concealed from view.”
Sounds pretty amazing, but as to whether it is practical everyday wear, physicist John Pendry told Bridges, “To be realistic, it’s going to be fairly thick. Cloak is a misnomer. ‘Shield’ might be more appropriate.”