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Are Cloaking Devices Coming? Metalens-Shaped Light May Lead The Way

12 Jan 2018, 11:53 UTC
Are Cloaking Devices Coming? Metalens-Shaped Light May Lead The Way
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The ability to bend light around an object and show the background, incoming light from any angle-and-distance could become real due to combined advances in metamaterials, nanolenses, and transformation optics. Image credit: University of Rochester.Combining nanotechnology of two different varieties might be the game-changer we’ve always dreamed of.For as long as human beings have been writing about fantasy, myth, and science fiction, the dream of invisibility has always been a top priority. While Star Trek brought the idea of a cloaking device into the popular consciousness, the closest we’ve come has been through the development of stealth technology. The invisibility to radar, which is long-wavelength electromagnetic radiation, might have been the first step, but recent developments in metamaterials have extended this even further, bending light around an object and rendering it truly undetectable. Earlier this week, a novel material called a broadband achromatic metalens has covered the entire visible light spectrum for the first time. The fusion of this technology with metamaterial cloaking could enable the first visible-light cloaking device. Here’s the story.By bending light around an object, the science of transformation optics could enable the first working, 3D cloaking device. A new advance in metalenses, if successfully applied, could ...

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