Researchers Create Invisibility Cloak Using Mirage

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON November 8th, 2019

invisibility cloak

Ingenious researchers at the University of Texas have created a new invisibility cloak using the Mirage effect (yes the natural effect commonly seen by a naked eye in the desert or on hot roads during the summer). This is really unforeseen as previous attempts at making things invisible have always been focusing on projections, coatings, paints, cameras, displays, and meta-materials.

The researchers were successful in demonstrating the cloak in a small laboratory experiment (video embedded below). The cloak works best underwater and is clearly observable by the naked eye.


How it Works

You should really skip this portion if science is not your kinda thing, else let’s continue:

Mirage occurs when there is a sudden big change in temperature over a small distance causing light rays to bend and produce a displaced image of a distant object and that’s what the scientists at the University of Texas exactly did. They found an exceptional material, called carbon nanotubes, that has the ability to conduct heat and quickly transfer it to its surrounding making ideal conditions for the mirage to occur. The material used was in the form of various sheets wrapped up into a cylindrical tube.

When electricity is conducted through the material, it heats up quickly and creates a steep temperature gradient causing the light rays to bend away from the object concealed behind the device resulting in the disappearance of the object.

According to Ali Aliev, the lead author of the study:

“Using these nanotube sheets, concealment can be realised over the entire optical range and rapidly turned on and off at will, using either electrical heating or a pulse of electromagnetic radiation.” 

A university spokesperson said:

“It is remarkable to see this cloaking device demonstrated in real life and on a workable scale. The array of applications that could arise from this device, besides cloaking, is a testament to the excellent work of the authors.”



You can witness the eminence yourself in the video embedded below which shows the entire working cloak: