Plasmonic cloak makes 3D objects invisible to your microwave

Don't look now, but researchers have managed to create a material that you can wrap yourself in to immediately become invisible to not only your microwave, but also every other microwave on the entire planet. Yes, we can all rest easier tonight knowing that we finally have a defense against the coming uprising of microwave ovens.

Whether or not you take my fear of microwaves seriously, the fact that we can now cloak free-standing three dimensional objects from them is worth getting excited about because this represents the first time that it's been done. We've certainly talked about cloaking devices before, but the ones we've see in the past have relied on giant crystals or whatever you want to call this thing to cloak objects placed inside them in usually just one or two dimensions.

This microwave cloak is completely different. It can cloak any three-dimensional object in free space, and you don't have to put your object inside any complicated mechanism to get the cloak to work. All you have to do is cover said object with a plasmonic metamaterial, which scatters microwaves in such a way that they cancel out with the microwaves being scattered by the object that the material is covering, making it transparent. Here's what the cloak looks like operating on a cylinder (as long as you don't have microwave eyeballs, in which case the following picture will be blank):

plasm_cloak1.jpg

Obviously, the goal with any cloaking device is to be able to cover the entire spectrum, not just microwaves. And it is possible to render something invisible to humans (in optical wavelengths) with this technology. However, there's an upper size limit on what current technology will be able to achieve, and it's small. Microscopic, sadly. But we can still look at this as a step in the right direction toward developing technology that will allow us to fight off the Klingons and the Romulans, Treaty of Algeron be damned.

Paper, via ScienceDaily

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