Invisibility Shields Planned by Engineers

<< Back to Page 1   Page 2 of 2

The researchers' studies show that spherical and cylindrical objects coated with plasmonic shielding material produce very little light scattering. These objects, when hit by the right wavelength of light, were seen to become so small that they were almost invisible.

The study is supported by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which researches and develops cutting edge military technology.

Some experts note, however, that cloaking devices that could enable military vehicles and aircraft, let alone spaceships, to become completely invisible to the enemy are likely to remain elusive for the foreseeable future.

John Pendry, the Imperial College physicist, said that light-shielding covers would have to be customized to match the properties of each and every object they hide.

It would be still more difficult to devise shields that could cope with all wavelengths of the visible spectrum—from red to violet light—and not just a single color.

Types of invisibility shielding previously proposed by scientists depend on advanced camouflage systems, rather than objects being made to look undetectably tiny. Such systems involve light sensors that create a mirror image of the background scene on the concealed object.

Don't Miss a Discovery
Sign up our free newsletter. Every two weeks we'll send you our top news by e-mail (see sample).

Despite the exciting possibilities raised by the new research, it may take us some time before science is able to catch up with those evasive Romulans.

<< Back to Page 1   Page 2 of 2




NEWS FEEDS     After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.   After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

National Geographic Daily News To-Go

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.
Click here to get 12 months of National Geographic Magazine for $15.