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U.S. scientists, taking a tip from Star Trek, have used nanotechnology to create a theoretical optical "cloaking" device that can make objects invisible.
The Purdue University engineers, following mathematical guidelines devised by British physicists, created the theoretical device that can render objects invisible by guiding light around anything placed inside the "cloak."
The design uses an array of tiny needles radiating outward from a central spoke. The device would bend light around the object being cloaked. Background objects would be visible, but not the object surrounded by the cylindrical array of nano-needles, said Vladimir Shalaev, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The design does, however, have a major limitation: It works only for any single wavelength, and not for the entire frequency range of the visible spectrum, Shalaev said.
"But this is a first design step toward creating an optical cloaking device that might work for all wavelengths of visible light," he said.
The research is detailed in a paper appearing this month in the journal Nature Photonics.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

Ref: science daily


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