Metamaterials Successfully Render 3-D Objects Invisible! The New Stealth Tech (08/12/2008)


Invisibility One Step Closer; Materials redirect light away from objects

In a newspaper article published by The Post-Standard August 12, 2008, the newspaper covers metamaterials used for visible light invisibility. The metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite.

Transcript of the Newspaper Article

The newspaper article reads:

The Associated Press


WASHINGTON – Scientists say they ate a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible.


Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects. Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects.


The findings, by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Xiang Zhang, are to be released later this week in the journals Nature and Science.


The new work moves scientists a step closer to hiding people and objects from visible light, which could have broad applications, including military ones.


People can see objects because they scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. Cloaking uses materials, known as metamaterials, to deflect radar, light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.


Metamaterials are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite. They are designed to bend visible light in a way that ordinary materials don’t. Scientists are trying to use them to bend light around objects so they don’t create reflections or shadows.


The metamaterial developed by Zhang and his colleagues has a multi-layered fishnet structure composed of alternating layers of silver and magnesium fluoride, which is transparent over an extremely wide range of light wavelengths.


“In the case of invisibility cloaks or shields, the materials would need to curve light waves completely around the object like a river flowing around a rock,” Zhang said. “An observer looking at the cloaked object would then see light from behind it, making it seem to disappear.”


The process differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.

The research was funded in part by the U.S> Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Nano-Scale Science and Engineering Center.

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