Fri, Mar 31, 2017 | updated 06:03 AM IST

Is invisibility cloak on its way to reality?

Updated: Jul 16, 2016 09:42 IST

Washington D.C, Jul 16 (ANI): Invisibility cloak has hidden Harry Potter and hobbits from view and now, this sci-fi staple may be moving closer to reality!

Scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have made an object disappear by using a composite material with nano-size particles that can enhance specific properties on the object's surface.

Researchers demonstrated for the first time a practical cloaking device that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves.

While the research might not lead to the invisibility cloak made famous in J.K Rowling's 'Harry Potter' novels quite yet, this practical demonstration could result in a step-change in how antennas are tethered to their platform. It could allow for antennas in different shapes and sizes to be attached in awkward places and a wide variety of materials.

Co-author Yang Hao said: "The design is based upon transformation optics, a concept behind the idea of the invisibility cloak. Previous research has shown this technique working at one frequency. However, we can demonstrate that it works at a greater range of frequencies making it more useful for other engineering applications, such as nano-antennas and the aerospace industry."

The researchers coated a curved surface with a nanocomposite medium, which has seven distinct layers (called graded index nanocomposite) where the electric property of each layer varies depending on the position. The effect is to 'cloak' the object: such a structure can hide an object that would ordinarily have caused the wave to be scattered.

The underlying design approach has much wider applications, ranging from microwave to optics for the control of any kind of electromagnetic surface waves.

First author Luigi La Spada said: "The study and manipulation of surface waves is the key to develop technological and industrial solutions in the design of real-life platforms, for different application fields.

Spada added, "We demonstrated a practical possibility to use nanocomposites to control surface wave propagation through advanced additive manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly, the approach used can be applied to other physical phenomena that are described by wave equations, such as acoustics. For this reason, we believe that this work has a great industrial impact."

The study appears in Scientific Reports. (ANI)

Dubai [UAE], Mar.30 (ANI): The Amity Institute of Advanced Research and Studies and the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries recently organised an international workshop on trends in solar power generation, energy harvesting at Amity's Dubai campus.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed some light on how flying birds communicate with each other.

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Now, a 'faster' single-pixel camera

Updated: Mar 30, 2017 10:55 IST

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): A new class of carbon nanotubes may soon become the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, a new study suggested.

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New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): The increase of devastating weather extremes in summer is likely linked to human-made climate change, mounting evidence shows.

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A simple route to developing new sensors

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 11:01 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Turns out, there's more to a material used for decades to colour food items than meets the eye.

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New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on systems to forecast the natural disasters that could be used as input by States/disaster management agencies.

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Does universe have a time frame?

Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.22 (ANI): Has anybody ever wondered whether our universe has a resting time frame? A researcher is conducting an experiment to find this out.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): He already had a research ship, dinosaur and flightless weevil named after him and now, Sir David Attenborough's hat has got another feather in the form of a 430 million-year-old shrimp ancestor.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 (ANI): A team of scientists has brought fresh hope to alcoholics as they are trying to find out whether or not treating the addiction is as simple as popping over-the-counter pills.

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Wild chimps 'surprisingly' live longer!

Updated: Mar 21, 2017 14:01 IST

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Restoring Pluto's planetary identity in crisis

Updated: Mar 18, 2017 06:55 IST

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Washington D.C [USA], Mar. 17 (ANI): The risk of hearing loss from exposure to noises is all around us every day and now, a recent study

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