Invisibility Cloak Material Could Be Used In Handheld Cameras

Apart from Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, so-called metamaterial developed in laboratories could one day find their way into handheld cameras.

Scientists working in the UK have managed to build tiny nanostructures that can manipulate light waves using a thin polymer film, opening the door for the more ambitious aim of producing something akin of an invisibility cloak.

Ortwin Hess, a recognised authority in the field of metamaterials at the Imperial College London, says that next generation lenses (called perfect lenses) used in handheld cameras could benefit from the material if its optical properties were sensitive to movement.

A true cloaking device "'grabs' light as it approaches and forces it to flow smoothly around the cloak instead of striking it, in the same way that water in a river flows round a stick, rendering the object concealed beneath it invisible to the human eye."

The achievement came almost one year after the Imperial London College received £4.9 million funding from the Leverhulme to design and build unique metamaterials.

Back in July 2010, researchers managed to "hid" a simulated metal cylinder from 3.5 Terahertz waves in a laboratory.