A couple years ago I blogged about a preliminary advance toward an invisibility device. That progress was made at the University of Utah and involved a "superlens."
Now UC Berkeley (surprisingly they do more there than attack military recruiters) has something even better. The Los Angeles Times reported today on the details.
Long the stuff of fantasy, practical invisibility shields have been brought a step closer to reality by researchers who say they have engineered materials that can hide an object by bending ordinary light like balloon animals at a circus.
The researchers, led by Xiang Zhang of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at the University of California, Berkeley, have created two composite materials that possess negative refraction indexes, meaning they bend light opposite to the way most natural substances do. If water exhibited negative refraction, fish swimming in a pool would appear to be in the air above the water.
"This is an important step toward creating a cloak," Zhang said Monday.
We need something like this. Everybody should have an outfit that lets you see through it to the people behind you. You can hide, but they can't. Perfect.
Of course, that's not the only purpose.
But [Zhang] insisted the work was not aimed at shielding Federation starships from Klingon battle cruisers. A more practical application, he said, would be to create a so-called "super lens" that could image infinitesimally small objects, enabling the manufacture of still tinier computer chips.
This is great. It'll make that Dick Tracy watch better and with fabulous features.
"Dick Tracy calling Joe Jitsu. Come in, Joe." I can't wait.