Broadband Invisibility Cloak - Now You See It

New metamaterial from David R. Smith of Duke (who built the first "invisibility cloak" in 2008 - see Invisibility Cloaks Seen As Possible With Metamaterials) rerouts almost all of the light that hits it.

(Metamaterial works with 1 to 18 gigahertz wavelengths)

It works with wavelengths of light from 1 to 18 gigahertz; this is a band as wide as the visible spectrum. No metamaterials work in the visible spectrum; so, there is no real invisibility cloak. However, this new work shows that it is possible to design a single material that will work with more than just very narrow bandwidths of light.

The broadband cloak is a rectangular structure measuring about 50 by 10 centimeters, with a height of about 1 centimeter. It's made up of roughly 600 I-shaped copper structures. Making each structure is a simple matter, says Smith. "They're copper patterns on a circuit board, cut up and arranged. It's a well-known, inexpensive technology." The hard part is determining the dimensions of each of these 600 structures and how to arrange them. With the first light cloak, which had only 10 such pieces, "we had to design each element by numerical simulations," Smith says.

...the new approach to design will accelerate the development of other metamaterials. Smith says that he and his group have already moved beyond the cloak reported in Science, but because their latest work is unpublished, he can't specify what they've made. "

Science fiction readers remember such early mentions of this idea as the invisible cloak from Ray Cumming's remarkable 1931 novel Brigands of the Moon.

From Technology Review.

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