Scientists getting closer to creating invisibility

Science fiction may soon see another of its concepts defect to the realm of science now that engineers at Purdue University have an invisibility device in the works. Still just a concept at this point, the plan would be to surround an object with a specially designed cone with metal needles sticking out of it. The needles would change the refractive properties of the cone in such a way that light would bend around it and make any stuff inside disappear.

One problem: the design can only bend one wavelength at a time, so unless the guy inside the cone is covered head to toe in a red bodysuit, you'll still be able to see him. That's still useful, though, since it could possibly shield soldiers from night-vision goggles, which see in only one wavelength of light (infrared). It could also protect objects from "laser designators," used by soldiers to highlight targets for laser-guided weapons.

As for real invisibility, it's theoretically possible with this method, though it would be a huge technical challenge. Baby steps, guys — let's get this infrared shield working before we venture into Harry Potter territory.

Via Seed Magazine

CORRECTION: As an eagle-eyed commenter pointed out, this post orignally misspelled the name of Purdue University. Apparently we eat too much chicken. Sorry about that, guys! Return to the corrected sentence.