But where will I get the 100 pieces of gold?
August 11, 2008 8:03 AM   Subscribe

So, they're making invisibility cloaks. previously.
posted by jimmythefish (49 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This thread is useless without pictures of the invisible objects.
posted by DU at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Pfft, I wore one of these all through high school.
(;_;)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


> The new work moves scientists a step closer to hiding people and objects from visible light, which could have broad applications, including military ones.

Dude. They're totally ignoring what this could do for the ninjas.
posted by ardgedee at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoop-te-do. I can turn invisible merely by going into a Sears store and looking for a sales assistant. Or maybe they're the invisible ones? Hmmm.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can turn invisible by walking into a bar full of girls.
posted by spicynuts at 8:11 AM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Invisible, eigh? Whoever heard the likes of that?"
"It's strange, perhaps, but it's not a crime."
--H. G. Wells
posted by stbalbach at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2008


ACCIO.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:19 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


An informed commentary.
posted by oddman at 8:21 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]



posted by Debaser626 at 8:23 AM on August 11, 2008 [14 favorites]


I knew that I'd heard of this before and even seen the same photo. Check out this LiveScience article from 2006 which makes identical claims with an almost identical photo. Can anyone explain this scientific déja vu?
posted by furtive at 8:27 AM on August 11, 2008


Yeah, it seems like this same article comes out every couple of years with pretty much no new information. The "no new information" part might be my imagination, though...
posted by Nattie at 8:30 AM on August 11, 2008


I can, furtive. The first article in the post is also from 2006.
posted by yhbc at 8:32 AM on August 11, 2008


*puts away YAY SCIENCE! baseball cap*
posted by minifigs at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2008


I've never metamaterial I didn't like.
posted by kcds at 8:36 AM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just imagined trying to find that in my closet.
posted by krautland at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2008


Thanks yhbc, I've only been awake for 20 minutes.
posted by furtive at 8:40 AM on August 11, 2008


There's lots of new information, but it's all invisible.

SEE WHAT I DID THERE?
posted by DU at 8:42 AM on August 11, 2008


The device mostly hid a small copper cylinder from microwaves in tests at Duke University, North Carolina.

The copper cylinder was then heard to yell "Olly Olly Oxenfree!" at which point it came out of hiding and the microwaves were all like "Oh my God! I totally didn't find you!"
posted by shmegegge at 8:44 AM on August 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


DM manual says 1 in every 5 is always a cursed robe of spiders.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:01 AM on August 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


meh, let me know when it'll work against the IRS and spammers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on August 11, 2008


For extra nerdy flamewar goodness we must ask the question: Can it work in space? Can it do the same for infrared emissions?
posted by wobh at 9:22 AM on August 11, 2008


The device mostly hid a small copper cylinder from microwaves in tests at Duke University, North Carolina.

"Mostly hid"? This will not keep the small copper cylinder from getting caught sneaking into the girls' locker room.
posted by Knappster at 9:29 AM on August 11, 2008


as far as i can tell, everything article about invisibility cloaking is nonsense designed to help get military funding.
posted by bhnyc at 9:41 AM on August 11, 2008


Can anyone explain this scientific déja vu?

No one saw it the first time.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:01 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


And metamaterials are useful in creating a cloak of silence, as well. It would have to developed very carefully, though, to avoid some serious technological deficiencies....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:04 AM on August 11, 2008


Pfft, got nothing on me disillusionment charm. Science, schmience.
posted by Menomena at 10:13 AM on August 11, 2008


The first thing I want to know is, how did Kronos_to_Earth miss this one, and the second thing I want to know is, where is my jetpack.
posted by nax at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2008


"...could have broad applications."

Yathink?
posted by Clave at 11:17 AM on August 11, 2008


And metamaterials are useful in creating a cloak of silence, as well. It would have to developed very carefully, though, to avoid some serious technological deficiencies.... wascally wabbits.

On that note, I have a lawsuit here on behalf of one E. Fudd with The Rivendell Consortium filing as a cross-defendant for potential infringement of copyright and patent, respectively.

Top that, nerds
posted by spiderwire at 12:02 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Knappster sort of beat me to it, but I keep wondering... what are the non-military, non-perverted applications for invisibility cloaks? Because I'm getting a vision of a society where invisible military police stand on every street corner and invisible dirtbags lurk in every pool changing room.
posted by tehloki at 12:06 PM on August 11, 2008


Because I'm getting a vision of a society where invisible military police stand on every street corner and invisible dirtbags lurk in every pool changing room.

So, been to London recently?
posted by spiderwire at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's just invisible to microwaves? I am going to show these scientists my leftover pasta in a bowl. The center of it also seems invisible to microwaves.
posted by rmless at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2008


Invisibilty cloaks? I just don't see it.
posted by ElvisJesus at 12:16 PM on August 11, 2008


It's interesting to think about the possibilities, however, based on their current model, it would have one serious drawback: If light bends around the object, it means that it wouldn't penetrate it, which in turn means that it would be utterly pitch black inside the cloak and thus you really wouldn't be able to navigate unless you were peeking out. Can't help but think that would give you away.
posted by Parannoyed at 12:37 PM on August 11, 2008


What I love about the invisibility-technology story is the way it makes reporters blow gaskets trying to decide whether to lead with the cringe-inducing Star Trek reference or the cringe-inducing Harry Potter reference.
posted by bicyclefish at 12:39 PM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, interesting topic and all, but "they" are many orders of magnitude away from producing something that will work in the visible wavelengths:

"You go up to optical radiation - visible light - and the wavelength is less than a micron. So your microstructure has to be a few tens of nanometres across. and we're only just learning how to do nanotechnology... maybe in five or 10 years' time you could do this, but not today."

Right now they're testing with centimeter wavelengths and millimeter-scale metamaterials–a far cry from the tens-of-nanometers metamaterials that are needed for visual wavelengths. Note that this is all based on the dated BBC link, not the almost information-free CBC link.
posted by Mister_A at 12:53 PM on August 11, 2008


Doc Savage dealt with these way back in '44. If I was at home right now I'd look up the specific mumbo-jumbo that Monk uses to explain the phenomenon.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:05 PM on August 11, 2008


...And when can I get one?
posted by razorfrog at 2:27 PM on August 11, 2008


Ars Technica debunks.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:06 PM on August 11, 2008


I know where you can find your 100 pieces of gold. Here in this thread- comedic gold! narf narf narf
posted by Large Marge at 4:41 PM on August 11, 2008


tehloki Knappster sort of beat me to it, but I keep wondering... what are the non-military, non-perverted applications for invisibility cloaks?
Optics. Don't think of it as an invisibility cloak (it really isn't, anyhow); think of it as a negative refractive index. Any technology that involves refraction at all, and there's a lot of that, could benefit from it. New technologies can be developed. It's access to a whole new realm of engineering, which can be combined with all of the things that we already were making, to make better things.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:05 PM on August 11, 2008


So, they're making invisibility cloaks.

no, they are not.
posted by quonsar at 7:16 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


SEP Zone cloaks are much more efficient.
I don't quite see them every day on the homeless people roaming around my town.
posted by Balisong at 8:40 PM on August 11, 2008


SEP = Somebody Elses Problem
posted by Balisong at 8:41 PM on August 11, 2008


Sure, this is kind of impressive, but call me when scientists have discovered how to bring people back from beyond the mystical veil on the stone dais!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:10 PM on August 11, 2008


Well, to cut through the bullshit around this. So far looking at the theory and the experimental trials of this, the "cloaks" are highly bandwidth-specific. So it's really doubtful that we'll have invisible secret police spying on us. For military applications we might see materials that have a very low radar reflectivity, but that's nothing new. For applications that involve manipulating monochromatic light, this opens the door to a new way of achieving a high level of precision.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:23 PM on August 11, 2008


I'd just like to point out that we already have the rough equivalents of cram. I can get you a light-emitting bottle for a few bucks.
posted by ersatz at 2:02 PM on August 12, 2008


Aha-- Kronos to earth tells me he actually DID post this days ago, but he used the "invisibility" tag, so you couldn't see it. (MAN, I wanted to take credit for that, be he would hunt me down.)
posted by nax at 2:45 PM on August 12, 2008


They displayed something similar at the first Wired Next Fest in 2004.
posted by assoctw at 1:34 PM on August 14, 2008


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