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Physicists scale up invisibility cloaks

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(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists from the University of Birmingham, with colleagues at Imperial College, London, and Technical University of Denmark, have demonstrated an 'invisibility cloak' that can hide a three-dimensional object, centimetres in dimension, large enough for the cloaking area to be visible to the human eye, according to research published today in the journal Nature Communications.

The scientists have shown that they are able to hide an object that is much bigger than those cloaked by other research groups. Previous studies have demonstrated cloaking by using a metamaterial - a fabricated composite with optical properties not found in nature - which limits the size of the cloaking region, while the team from UK and Denmark have used a natural crystal called calcite, which has enabled them to hide a larger object.

Calcite is a transparent mineral with birefringent or double-refraction properties, which means that light enters the calcite and splits into two rays of different polarizations travelling at different speeds and in different directions.

The team has been able to cloak larger objects because it has employed a cloaking design that did not require inhomogeneous material properties, as all the previous works did. This demonstration was performed, both in the air and in a container of liquid, by using two triangular pieces of calcite glued together, placed on a mirror. The size of the cloaking area is not limited by the technology available, only by the size of the calcite crystal.

Dr Shuang Zhang, lead investigator from the University of Birmingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: ‘‘This is a huge step forward as, for the first time, the cloaking area is rendered at a size that is big enough for the observer to ‘see’ the invisible object with the naked eye.

‘By using natural crystals for the first time, rather than artificial meta-materials, we have been able to scale up the size of the cloak and can hide larger objects, thousands of times bigger than the wavelength of the light.’

He continues: ‘Previous cloaks have succeeded at the micron level (much smaller than the thickness of a human hair) using a nano- or micro-fabricated artificial composite material. It is a very slow process to make these structures and they also restrict the size of the cloaking area. We believe that by using calcite, we can start to develop a cloak of significant size that will open avenues for future applications of cloaking devices.’

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-physicists-scale-invisibility-cloaks-natural.html

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

maybe them romulans were onto something.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

"Doctor, Doctor! The Invisible Man is here for his appointment."

"Well, tell him I can't see him."


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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