New cloaking technology uses The Beam of Invisibility

A material with random irregularities scatters an incident light wave into all directions.
A new cloaking technology has been developed at TU Wien: a special kind of material is irradiated from above in such a way that another beam of light can pass completely uninhibited.

How do we make an object invisible? Researchers from TU Wien (Vienna), together with colleagues from Greece and the USA, have now developed a new idea for a cloaking technology. A completely opaque material is irradiated from above with a specific wave pattern – with the effect that light waves from the left can now pass through the material without any obstruction. This surprising result opens up completely new possibilities for active camouflage. The idea can be applied to different kinds of waves, it should work with sound waves just as well as with light waves. Experiments are already in the planning.

Outwitting the Scattering of Light

“Complex materials such as a sugar cube are opaque, because light waves inside them are scattered multiple times”, says Professor Stefan Rotter (TU Wien). “A light wave can enter and exit the object, but will never pass through the medium on a straight line. Instead, it is scattered into all possible directions.”

For years many different attempts have been made to outwit this kind of scattering, creating a “cloak of invisibility”. Special materials have been worked out, for example, which are able to guide light waves around an object. Alternatively, also experiments have been performed with objects that can emit light by themselves. When an electronic display sends out exactly the same light as it absorbs in the back, it can appear invisible, at least when looked at in the right angle.

At TU Wien a more fundamental approach has now been chosen. “We did not want to reroute the light waves, nor did we want to restore them with additional displays. Our goal was to guide the original light wave through the object, as if the object was not there at all”, says Andre Brandstötter, one of the authors of the study. “This sounds strange, but with certain materials and using our special wave technology, it is indeed possible.”

The Laser Material

The team at TU Wien has spent years working on optically active materials, which are used for building lasers. To make the laser shine, energy has to be supplied by means of a pump beam. Otherwise, the laser material behaves just like any other material – it absorbs part of the incident light.

“The crucial point is to pump energy into the material in a spatially tailored way such that light is amplified in exactly the right places, while allowing for absorption at other parts of the material”, says Professor Konstantinos Makris from the University of Crete (previously TU Wien). “To achieve this, a beam with exactly the right pattern has to be projected onto the material from above – like from a standard video projector, except with much higher resolution.”

If this pattern perfectly corresponds to the inner irregularities of the material which usually scatter the light, then the projection from above can effectively switch off the scattering, and another beam of light travelling through the material from one side can pass without any obstruction, scattering or loss.

“Mathematically, it is not immediately obvious that it is at all possible to find such a pattern”, says Rotter. “Every object we want to make transparent has to be irradiated with its own specific pattern – depending on the microscopic details of the scattering process inside. The method we developed now allows us to calculate the right pattern for any arbitrary scattering medium.”

See Also

Light or Sound

Computer simulations have shown that the method works. Now the idea should be confirmed in experiments. Stefan Rotter is confident that this will be successful: “We are already discussing with experimentalists how this could be done. As a first step, we may test this technology with sound instead of light waves. Experimentally, they are easier to handle, and from a mathematical point of view, the difference does not matter significantly.”

Learn more: The Beam of Invisibility

 

The Latest on: Cloaking technology
[google_news title=”” keyword=”cloaking technology” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
  • Energy Technology News
    on May 23, 2024 at 5:01 pm

    May 15, 2024 — Copper cannot be mined quickly enough to keep up with current U.S. policy guidelines to transition the country's electricity and vehicle infrastructure to renewable energy ...

  • Technology News
    on May 21, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    North Korea has announced plans to launch a rocket apparently carrying its second military spy satellite in the coming days Up close and personal, cicadas display Nature's artwork. Discerning ...

  • Technology and the Internet
    on May 19, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    Pope Francis has paved the way for the ‘patron saint of the internet’ by attributing a second miracle to a teen Italian computer whiz who died in 2006.

  • Everything To Know About The Illuminate Faction In Helldivers 2
    on May 17, 2024 at 12:01 am

    Believed to have gone into hiding after the last great war, the highly sophisticated Illuminate faction might be returning to Helldivers 2.

  • Beyond Borders: Unveiling the Potential of VPN Technology for Global Privacy Enhancement
    on May 16, 2024 at 10:31 am

    In our digitally connected world, concerns surrounding online privacy have taken center stage, prompting a search for effective solutions. Among these, Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology has ...

  • Star Trek: Why Are Romulan and Klingon Starships So Similar?
    on May 7, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, it’s revealed that the Klingons, Romulans, and Federation established a joint colony on Nimbus III in the spirit of “galactic peace" in 2267. It clearly worked out ...

  • 10 Best Technology Mutual Funds Of May 2024
    on May 2, 2024 at 4:03 am

    Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Over the past 10 years, the technology sector has enjoyed stratospheric performance. You can’t even match the tech funds category ...

  • MIT Technology Review
    on October 3, 2023 at 1:51 am

    Technology news is full of incremental developments, but few of them are true milestones. Here we’re citing 10 that are. These advances from the past year all solve thorny problems or create ...

  • MIT Technology Review
    on September 13, 2023 at 5:36 am

    Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events ...

  • The Cloaking Devices Of Star Trek Explained
    on July 12, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Starting from a real-world perspective, Star Trek’s cloaking devices were first developed (though not yet named as such) by screenwriter Paul Schneider for the Original Series “Balance of ...

via Google News and Bing News

What's Your Reaction?
Don't Like it!
0
I Like it!
0
Scroll To Top