Despite what you have seen on tv and in Hollywood, or should we call it Hollyweird, invisibility cloaks for humans and machines are a reality. The science is behind them and it is no “magic” act when you understand the underlying system. Modern invisibility cloaks essentially utilize what are called “meta materials” to essentially show you a reflection of what is behind or on the opposite side. They call this the mirage effect and it is made possible using sheets of carbon nanotubes and they can help bend light waves.
At the University of Maryland they are doing all sorts of tests about bending light and cloaking objects, Purdue University has been quite involved as well. At this current time these invisibility cloaks are still quite limited and only really able to cloak in two dimensions. For the real world if you were going to cloak yourself to avoid detection whether in a private sense or in war for example, this would not be your best bet. It is widely rumored on the internet that the government already has cloaked soldiers as well as cloaked tanks among other items. In movies you can see interesting uses of 2D cloaking technology as you watch spies hide behind what looks like a big projection screen doing what they must as security thinks a hallway is empty and the screen projects an empty hallway behind it. Modern video games such as Call of Duty 2: Black Ops integrate a lot of futuristic technology from drones to invisibility cloaks that makes you wonder what is already available and what the public knows.
Let us know your thoughts on these interesting materials and cloaks in the comments below. What moral or ethical questions do you think this technology raises as this may be used in the personal, private, public, government, and military sectors across the world?
Check out this interesting video on HowStuffWorks.com along with a whole 8 page explanation about how this technology works!