Invisibility cloak: Real life Harry Potter
Boffins at the Michigan Tech University have come up with the latest must-have accessory - the invisibility cloak.
Yep, you read that correctly. No sooner had we brought you the news that Star Wars had just got real following the revelation that the US Navy were shooting down drones with laser guns, we're now bringing you news of an actual, working invisibility cloak. It's like Harry Potter but, you know, cool.
Unfortunately the cloak doesn't yet work with visible light, only the infrared variety, but it's a start and the scientists are stepping up their efforts.
Right, now for the sciency part. Pay attention.
The cloak is non-metallic and uses metamaterials (artificial materials with unnatural elements) that are made of tiny glass resonators and arranged in a concentric, cylinder shaped pattern.
The spokes of this pattern produce a magnetic resonance which can bend light around the small particles that the cloak is made up of. In computer tests, this renders the cloak invisible.
But, and this is where it gets really interesting (honestly) - the team is stepping up its efforts in order to test a cloak that has been rescaled and has had ceramic resonators added to work at microwave levels.
Within an anechoic chamber, microwaves are transmitted, which are much longer than infrared light waves.
"Starting from these experiments, we want to move to higher frequencies and smaller wavelengths", the researchers said. "The most exciting applications will be at the frequencies of visible light".
Indeed they will and when they've cracked it - we'll be the first in the queue. And when we get our hands on one, we won't be using it to ponce around Hogwarts after dark.
Oh no, no, no - we'll be straight down the local gym and into the ladies' changing room.
There's a rumour going around that you can get free Lucozade out of their vending machine, you see, and we just love the glucose.