Video of "invisibility cloak" at TED

Yesterday I linked to a video of Baile Zhang's "invisibility cloak," which was demoed at TED2013. The video was hosted by Dropbox, which killed the link (too much traffic). Here's a YouTube version of the same video, courtesy of Ben Kellogg.

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  1. The video was hosted by Dropbox, which killed the link (too much traffic).

    The video is still there, we just can’t see it.

  2. OK, does the invisibility cloak only work on the bottom 5% of the sandwiched crystals?  Does it require the stripey background?  Does it require a certain surface to rest on?

    1. I’m going to bet that yes, it requires the stripey background. Otherwise, what’s the first thing you’d do to demonstrate something’s invisible? You wave your hand (or tweezers) behind it.

      1. That’s going to impede tactical deployment a little. The 20 mile wide, 4 mile high stripy backdrop will be a tip off, but once they roll in the 2 mile high prism and then stand around whistling casually, the enemy will start to get suspicious.

  3. And suddenly it’s not so magical. Looks like it wouldn’t work without the vertically homogenous background. 

  4. Yay!  I personally can’t think of a single practical use for an invisibility cube that isn’t somewhere on the high jinks–trouble-making–law breaking–other unsocial behaviors spectrum.  Also, of course, military stuff.  But that might say more about me than invisibility cubes.

  5. yeah, this works only on one direction, the background image is offset and the vertical stripes are needed to hide that fact. There are 360˚ invisibility metamaterials that work in the microwave regime, but you need materials with n < 0 to get it to work

  6. So I told my Mom about this the other day (she’s in her 60’s). I said, “They’ve invented an invisibility cloak.” She asked, “Who did?” I said, “Scientists.” And she asked in all seriousness, “Are they Romulans?”

    I love my Mom.

  7. That’s not an invisibility cloak, that’s just a piece of perspex! All it’s doing is reflecting the vertical bars due to total internal reflection, it’s the “invisibility” equivalent of placing that orange strip under a slightly angled mirror.

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