In the latest edition of Science Express magazine, several physicists have explained the principles behind the creation of an invisible shield.

The key to the whole idea is "metamaterials", which have already been demonstrated by one of the scientists. A metamaterial is a composite that gets its electromagnetic properties from its structure rather than the two or more materials that make it up.

Because a metamaterial can change the direction of electromagnetic radiation, light waves would be redirected and could flow around an object concealed by the metamaterial shield.

"The cloak would act like you've opened a hole in space", said Prof Smith, one of the scientists responsible for the report.

He continues, "[The maths is] nothing that couldn't have been done 50 or even 100 years ago. The theory has only now become relevant because we can make metamaterials with the properties we are looking for".

Some reports quote Prof Smith as saying it could take up to 10 years to create an invisibility shield using this technology.