In as few as 18 months, superheroes may not be the only ones who have the ability to turn invisible. U.S. and English researchers are hard at work developing an "invisibility cloak" that, as the name suggests, makes the wearer invisible.
The cloak will be made of "metamaterial," which is made using nanotechnology and can change the direction of electromagnetic radiation. Because light waves flow around the metamaterial, any object inside of it becomes invisible, similar to water flowing around a smooth rock -- or tucking something into a hole in space.
A cloak made of such material would neither reflect light nor cast a shadow, and onlookers would essentially look right through the cloak, while anything it covers remains unseen.
Along with the obvious stealth military operations such a cloak could be used for, other applications include concealing factories and other eyesores from cluttering up the countryside.
Nanotechnology is also behind many other exciting inventions, like the world's strongest bulletproof vest and natural bandages. As nanotechnology progresses, it is sure to change our lives -- and health care as we know it.
Science May 26, 2006
Wired News May 25, 2006