Futuristic Invisibility Cloak Becoming a Reality

Any true Harry Potter fan knows that the invisibility cloak has been made before, but real-life ones tend to fall short of the magical results the book’s famous accessory achieved. The original attempts proved to be bulky and overly layered, which really defeats the purpose of having the cloak in the first place. Computer engineers from the University of California have figured out a way to make a cloak with a single layer of material.

What was wrong with older invisibility cloak designs?

Previous studies suggested that the only possible way to make something invisible was through many layers of material that were used to alter wavelengths of light, which made an object look like the flat surface it was on. Various forms of this thick type of cloak have been made and tested, however, none yielded results as positive as this new, thinner invisibility cloak.

new materials, new principles

Previous cloaks used metal particles that actually absorbed light, rather than reflected it. This caused the cloaks to not look as vibrant as their surroundings, making it obvious that something wasn’t right about what you were looking at.

This new invisibility cloak design distorts light to make it seem like it’s on a flat surface, using ceramics and Teflon. Together, these materials better reflect light rather than absorb it, and they are tailored to be very small in the cloak so that the reflecting light beams scatter in different directions. The alternating directions of the beams are what cause the surface of the cloak to look flat. The cloak itself is made of a thin Teflon sheet and has tiny ceramic particles embedded in it.

The Invisible Future

“Doing whatever we want with light waves is really exciting,” said Boubacar Kanté, senior author of the new study, published in Progress In Electromagnetics Research. The team at the University is hoping to contribute to a cloak that eventually won’t reduce any vibrancy in the reflection of light. Other companies have tried producing various types of invisible products, such as the Rochester Cloak and the Invisibility Box. This is clearly an idea that many people hope becomes a reality.


want to stay safe on your bike while keeping it looking cool? check out the afterburner and aviator bike lights from fortified bicycle.