What's next? Flying cars?
It is certainly big news that the Chicago Cubs are in the 2015 Major League Baseball playoffs. It means it is still possible for the prediction from the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, stating the Cubs won the World Series in 2015, could still come true.
But as movie predictions coming true go, nothing tops the news that someone is advancing technology on the invention of the invisibility cloak.
Readers of the Harry Potter series of books knows about the Cloak of Invisibility, which is not an invention but is magic. Place it over an object and the object, and the cloak, become invisible to the naked eye.
Now, Boubacar Kante, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, and his research team have successfully tested a dielectric metasurface cloak. That’s jargon for invisibility cloak (which is a better-sounding name for the device).
“I am very excited about this work,’’ Kante said in an interview with Army Times, a newspaper covering the nation’s defense departments, all whom have interest in Kante’s work.
Kante is expected to submit a proposal to the Defense Department in the near future for funding on his project.
What a dielectric metasurface cloak does is manipulates electromagnetic waves, including light and radio waves. Humans see objects thanks to the electromagnetic waves that bounces off of objects. It’s the same physics that allow radar to see objects in motion.
Kante reports that he can manipulate those waves in order to protection detection in objects.
Kante’s work is an advancement from research done 10 years ago that demonstrated how to absorb or direct electromagnetic waves around an object through a coating that would render an object “invisible”. That research worked only on microwaves and in two dimensions rather than three.
Kante’s team created a new material consisting of a layer of Teflon substrate with tiny ceramic cylinders embedded into it. Kante says the ceramic does a better job of reflecting than metallic particles that normally exist in Teflon. Kante’s construct is also much thinner than previous attempts at wavelength manipulation, which is key to creating the appearance of “invisibility’’
“Invisibility may seem like magic at first, but its underlying concepts are familiar to everyone,’’ Kante said in a published statement about his work. “All it requires is a clever manipulation of our perception. Full invisibility still seems beyond reach today, but it might become a reality in the near future thanks to recent progress in cloaking devices.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.