Five years ago, scientists shocked the world by first predicting that it should be possible to make an invisibility cloak and then, just 5 months later, by producing a rudimentary version of such a device. The original cloak worked only imperfectly for microwave radiation of a fixed wavelength, but since then researchers have developed new cloaking schemes that work over a range of wavelengths and have pushed to shorter optical wavelengths. How does cloaking work? Will scientists ever make a cloak that, like Harry Potter’s cloak, can hide a person? More practically speaking, what might researchers and technologists do with such devices?
Join us for a live chat about the potential of invisibility cloaking at a special time of 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 20 October, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Ulf Leonhardt is the Chair in Theoretical Physics at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He enjoys imaginative research that connects the practical aspects of physics with abstract ideas, thoughts and stories. Ulf loves to find and use unusual and often unused connections across several areas of physics. In particular, he is interested in connections between quantum optics and general relativity.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah