Researchers at the University of Rochester have just unveiled a mechanism they call the “Rochester Cloak.” The mechanism induces invisibility through the use of multiple lenses, and was originally made in order for surgeons in the operating room to look through their hands to better see what they are working on.
Researchers added that truck drivers could also use the mechanism to see through obstructions on their vehicles.
However, the use of such a mechanism has endless possibilities.
The lenses are inexpensive, and can bend light around an object and keep it hidden (anyone reminded of the invisibility cloak from “Harry Potter?” I am).
So far, scientists have been able to cloak a hand, a face, and a ruler – making each object appear to be invisible while the image behind the hidden object remains in view.
John Howell, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester, stated , “There’ve been many high tech approaches to cloaking and the basic idea behind these is to take light and have it pass around something as if it isn’t there, often using high-tech or exotic materials,” explaining the basic principle behind the idea.
Joseph Choi, a PhD student working with Howell, added , “This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum.” So, just like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, this cloak causes no distortion of the background object.
This is a breakthrough, because many past cloaking devices worked well when looking at an object straight on, but not if the viewpoint was moved.
Previous cloaking devices also caused the background to shift drastically, making it obvious that the cloak was there.
The Rochester cloak will likely attract professional attention, but the basic idea behind it is still quite thrilling to the average person.
Choi commented , “I think people are really excited by the prospect of just being invisible.”