Researchers conjure Potter-style invisibility cloak

An invisibility cloak—the stuff of Harry Potter lore—may be taking another step closer to reality, as New York researchers showed how to make a cloak that can hide large objects.

In their paper published June 5, John Howell at the University of Rochester in New York and Benjamin Howell indicated their cloak could be big enough to cloak a person, tech site Mashable reported.

But Mashable said the cloak, which is based on mirrors, is not actually a new design strictly speaking - and may have already been used by magicians for years.

"The point we wish to emphasize is not the novelty but the ease of scaling to nearly arbitrary size," they said.

Lenses and mirrors

In making their cloak, the Howells said they created an array of lenses or mirrors "that steer light around the region of space they want to hide."

Such a cloak would be simple to build and easy to scale, Mashable added.

Even better yet, the cloak they built using the mirrors is big enough to hide a human.

"This volume is sufficient to cloak a human, albeit with not as much convenience as Harry Potter's cloak," the Howells said.

Not perfect

Yet, Mashable said these cloaks are not perfect as they only work in one direction. "View these cloaks from anything other than this direction and the ruse is quickly revealed," it said.

Still, the Howells said such large unidirectional cloaks have value such as "in cloaking satellites in mid- to high-Earth orbit." — TJD, GMA News

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