The Washington Times - January 16, 2009, 11:36AM

Researchers at Duke University say they are closer to creating an invisibility cloak, noting that they have increased the number of wavelengths that a microwave-deflecting material can block, the AP is reporting.

The researchers reported in 2006 that they had created “metamaterials” that could render three-dimensional objects invisible to microwaves by deflecting the waves around it. The system works like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky.


The researchers have in fact created a prototype of the invisibility cloak.  They just can’t find it in the laboratory.  “It’s around here somewhere!”

Think of all the mischief you could get into with an invisibility cloak:  Closed-door meetings would suddenly be open.  Gender-segregated locker rooms would immediately become unisex.  And “boring” cocktail parties would become a thing of the past.

Of course, the primary use of the invisibility cloak is likely to be military — you know, to increase the element of surprise.  But if your enemies know you have an invisibility cloak, does it really surprise them when you use it?

Naturally, all this talk about invisibility cloaks eventually refers to Harry Potter, the boy wizard of Hogwarts.  I hear they’re working on a phoenix-hair wand next.  These are exciting times.