Invisibility Cloak: Another Attempt


You may have been impressed by Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak that kept him hidden from everyone when he wanted to in his 7 years at Hogwarts. But have you ever imagined how will it feel to experience something like this  for your self? Of course, you have, and I want you to keep that your imagination as I tell you about a new attempt that inches us closer to the invisibility cloak.

First of all, I want to let you that this is not the only attempt to make the cloak. In fact, there is a bit of history which you can read about here.

From the above articles we know that the first tangible attempt to make the invisibility cloak was  made in 2006 which had some limitations. The biggest limitation was that it only worked for a certain frequency of microwaves and things were not really ‘hidden’ from the naked eye.

With this new discovery by , Baile Zhang  at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge has taken this invention to a new level by building a carpet cloak that works at all range of frequencies.

The cloak is made of calcite which is rather cheap optical material. The object to be hidden is covered with the carpet, and the tricks the viewer by giving the impression of reflecting light.

What Baile Zhang and team has done is that they have created a carpet cloak by creating two calcite blocks. But the light has to pass through a certain angle to make an object invisible.

There are limitations in this invention too. The experiment works with polarized light. Water polarizes the light so the object should be easy to hide underwater.

Another major limitation is that it will not work on a 3D plane. The object will be visible to the viewer from a certain direction. Another thing is that the object has to be backlit i.e if viewer and the light are in the same direction then the object will not hide.

I can see the expression on you facet that screams “Really! Is that all?”.  Well, I understand this is not the carpet your hoping for. You would rather be comfortable being hidden in all plans (and specially in 3d plane where we live in), but guess what ? It is just another step, inching us closer to the true invisibility.

Also, remember that this was a thing of imagination before, seeing some progress is really exciting. Maybe in a decade you might see your self in a mirror differently, or not at all.

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