Is it a Star Trek universe yet? As frequent H&R commenter, the innominate one, points out in my earlier post on the possibility of Stark Trek warp drives, other researchers have developed materials that bend light that can make objects invisible. Memory Alpha describes the Romulan cloaking device as:
A cloaking device is a form of stealth technology that uses selective bending of light (and other forms of energy) to render a starship or other object completely invisible to the electromagnetic spectrum and most sensors.
The New York Times reports that researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have created materials that could render objects invisible:
Using tiny wires and fishnet structures, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found new ways to bend light backward, something that never occurs in nature.
This technology could lead to microscopes able to peer more deeply and clearly into living cells. And the same kind of structures might one day be adapted to bend light in other unnatural ways, creating a Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak. "This is definitely a big step toward that idea," said Jason Valentine, a graduate student and a lead author of a paper to be published online Wednesday by the journal Nature. But scientists are still far from designing and manufacturing such a cloak.
New York Times article here.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.