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First step to cloaking a starship

Researchers have successfully “cloaked” a half-inch copper cylinder. This is genuine invisibility, with the light being actually bent around the object so that it is simply “missed out” of the view, with what is beyond it clearly visible. The implications if this can be extended are obvious and of huge military significance. The techniques may also be usable for focussing and concentrating radiation, as in solar energy applications.

But there are still huge problems to overcome. The technigue works by covering the surface of the object with a sort of conducting pattern like an antenna array, which must be tuned to the precise wavelength to be bent. The demo therefore uses a single wavelength, which is a longer wavelength than visible light (microwave), because this allows a coarser “antenna pattern” which is easier to fabricate.

Huge problems remain to cloak a full sized vehicle at a wide range of wavelengths including the visible light we see with. It would need an “antenna pattern” all over, so fine that it would need to be built with nano-technology, and getting it multiwavelength is hard to imagine. If it needed to work from every direction, the vehicle would probably have to be spherical. More starship than cadillac.

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