Invisibility possible with nanotechnology, say MIT researchers

In News by DJ Pangburn / October 3, 2012

In recent years a number of researchers have attempted to prove that invisibility cloaks are actually and not just theoretically possible. David Smith, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, and his team have explored invisibility through microwave deflection. In 2010, researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology announced that they had cloaked a tiny bump of gold, using a pile of crystals with spaces in between, preventing it from detection at near-visible infrared frequencies and in three dimensions no less. (Previous invisibility cloaks work in two dimensions). Now MIT researchers suggest that an invisiblity cloak would be possible using nanotechnology.

Researchers believe that an invisibility cloak could be constructed using core-shell nanoparticles surrounding a semiconductor matrix host. The nanoparticles would effectively cancel out electron scattering, the process that makes light waves visible. Instead of being scattered, the electrons would travel through the host as if it were not even there. This is interesting because, after all, matter isn’t purely solid but full of invisible space.

The MIT researchers state that invisibility cloaks would have applications in electronic devices that require high electron mobility. Normal electron scattering is inefficient, so the cloak would make the electrons more mobile.

No word yet on whether the theory could apply on a larger scale. So perverts hoping to engage in invisible voyeurism will just have to wait.

The research paper is currently available in the journal Physics Review Letters.