Cloak of Invisibility

15 January 2010

Cloaking is the hiding of objects from detection by electromagnetic waves (ie the invisibility cloak of Harry Potter, or H.G. Well's "The Invisible Man").

Download the movie (mov file - 6014 kB)

In the simulation here, we illustrate a type of cloaking which has been developed and studied within the School of Physics by a team led by Professor Ross McPhedran. Unlike other cloaking schemes, this method works by having an object which hides object outside it rather than inside it.

The cloaking object in this simulation is a hollow silver cylinder at the centre of the picture. The dashed circle indicates the region which is cloaked. The object to be cloaked is the silhouette of a well-known figure. The silhouette is outlined with dipoles which react to an extended electric field, as indicated by the darkness of the silhouette. As the object moves into the cloaking region, the silver cylinder reacts and cancels out the external field and thus the silhouette lightens and eventually disappears.

In the simulation colours denote electrostatic potential and there is an applied electric field running from left to right.)

This simulation demonstrates that with modern technology we can achieve what Churchill never could: make de Galle disappear.

To read the original article (in French) click here.