Invisibility and flexible metamateriales

In games on December 5, 2010 at 10:47 am

There have been many occasions where we’ve talked about devices or able to make invisible to an object or person mantles. Recent technological developments have focused on the metamateriales that can bend light waves. So far, the metamateriales were rigid, or worked in a range which we could not see.However, a recent development has given way to a metamaterial that in future could operate in our visual spectrum, and is it sufficiently flexible to apply it in different ways.

When the word invisibility floats in the air, our minds are things like the Predator, the Klingons, the famous Harry Potter, James Bond car layer and Kevin Bacon making murderous psychopath (what?). But in recent years Science took very seriously development of invisibility. The application that would most benefit from this is of course the military, but the point is that many of the lines of research dedicated to the desired “cloaking device” can bring great benefits to fields such as optics. Finally, after all, everything boils down to light: when you look at an object, you are actually seeing light reflected on it.If light bends, deviates or is interrupted, the object will disappear before our eyes.Until now, science fiction, but we are increasingly closer.

The image on the left shows the flexibility of the metamaterial while right it is possible to observe their adaptation on a contact lens

A group of scientists in United Kingdom, headed by Dr. Andrea Di Marco, have created a thin flexible metamaterial that has the potential to work in our visual spectrum. The problem is that the metamateriales are too rigid to have a practical application, or those with certain flexibility working on wavelength that we cannot see.The visual spectrum is located between the 390 and 750 nanometers. How achieved flexibility? Instead of resorting to the classic siliicio process, used a polymer. Combine flexibility with a better process manufacturing nanometric seems to be the key to achieving the expected “invisible cloak”.

Even so, we have to wait.Scientists still unknown many things about the metamateriales, as for example how to behave when folder or bends, and its sensitivity to motion.Then we must determine the best method of manufacture for an operation in our visual spectrum, what will be your applications… anyway, much, much work ahead.Front of the eyes of our mothers-in-law disappear as did it Bilbo Baggins in the region still is something that we can only hope, but these and other scientists are determined to succeed.We hope that they can.

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