Putting government dollars to excellent use, scientists at U.C. Berkeley are honing in on a real-life invisibility cloak. Two new "metamaterials" - artificially engineered structures not found in nature - refract light at a nanoscale level, creating the illusion of invisibility. One is a "type of fishnet of metal layers to reverse the direction of light," the other is made of "tiny silver wires." It's kind of less exciting than it sounds: so far they've only figured out how to do it in limited wavelengths (read: small areas) and none of the scientists seems to be doing any of the expected hilarious tests in locker rooms or sneaking into forbidden parts of the library. "We are not actually cloaking anything," (researcher) Valentine said in a telephone interview. "I don't think we have to worry about invisible people walking around any time soon. To be honest, we are just at the beginning of doing anything like that." Yet another shocking instance of science lagging behind magic. [Reuters]
Putting government dollars to excellent use, scientists at U.C.