Invisibility Cloak: A New Type of Warfare?

Filed in Gather Technology News Channel by on June 28, 2011 0 Comments

Duke University has perhaps hit the jackpot for all Harry Potter fans, but not the way you think. An invisibility cloak has indeed been created just in time for part two of the Deathly Hallows.

According to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there are three “hallows” or objects that can grant someone immortality. Consequently, the cloak of invisibility is one of them. Sadly, Duke University’s scientists aren’t that good… yet! The cloak doesn’t actually make someone invisible, but it does block any and all sound waves. This means if you were to stand behind it, then it would probably have the effect of a simple Muffliato spell.

While various teams of scientists worked hard to reproduce the same effects as Harry Potter‘s deathly hallow, they accidentally created the properties for a similar invisibility cloak. Soon, they discovered that the same properties for bending light can also bend sound. Achieved by using synthetic materials called “metamaterials,” which contain properties not found in nature, scientists can physically alter how an object receives sound waves. In this case, it consists of stacked sheets of plastic with an array of holes drilled through. Arranging the holes carefully is essential to whether the sound redirects and where to. In essence, the plastic both absorbs and resonates the sound to create an acoustically impenetrable wall.

Fox News stated that the new technology could be added to practically anything. Placing a giant invisibility cloak on the bottom of a ship would make enemy sonar useless. Could this be an option for the government? This may indeed change the way wars are fought altogether. This may also be an answer to prayer for the countless college musicians who have to suffer in the practice rooms when the piccolo player is “wood shedding” his or her parts. Or can it be used to sound proof apartment buildings so that the cops are never called again because of a loud party? The opportunities are endless, and only time will tell how widespread the commercial venture of the new invisibility cloak is.

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