With the invention of the iPad and driverless cars, technology has begun mimicking the images of old “futuristic” sci-fi films. Now our future may hold some inventions influenced by “magical” films, such as the Harry Potter series. BBC News reports:
Scientists in the UK have demonstrated a flexible film that represents a big step toward the “invisibility cloak” made famous by Harry Potter.
The film contains tiny structures that together form a “metamaterial”, which can, among other tricks, manipulate light to render objects invisible. Flexible metamaterials have been made before, but only work for light of a colour far beyond that which we see.
Physicists have hailed the approach a “huge step forward”. The bendy approach for visible light is reported in the New Journal of Physics.
Metamaterials work by interrupting and channelling the flow of light at a fundamental level; in a sense they can be seen as bouncing light waves around in a prescribed fashion to achieve a particular result.
However, the laws of optics have it that light waves can only be manipulated in this way by structures that are about as large as the waves’ length.
Continues at BBC News …