Harry Potter may not be a real person, but his invisibility cloak sure is. Well, it's not really a cloak, it's a box. You put things in the box, and things dissapear from sight.
That's what researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (opens in new tab) achieved, according to a recent report from The Independent.
The box works on fairly well-known principle – it bends the light around the object so that it becomes invisible – which can hide objects like car keys, smartphones or your restraining order.
Like previous versions, the invisibility cloak works by bending light around the box. But doing that forces it to take a longer route that it normally would, posing a problem for the technology because it's not possible to speed the light up.
But scientists have managed to slow down all of the light in the box, meaning it can be sped up again. I have to be honest and say I have no clue what this means, but I'll go with it.
"As we seemingly slow down the light everywhere, speeding it up again in the cloak to make up for the longer path around the core is not a problem," said Robert Schittny, who led the research project.
The best part about this "cloak" is that it can be carried around, and its effects are easiliy demonstrated. It could be taken to classrooms to inspire students.
"With a reasonably strong flashlight in a not too bright room, it is very easy to demonstrate the cloaking,“ said Schittny.
And for all those wondering, no, this is not a wallet, even though my wallet seems to have a similar cloaking effect. You put money in it and suddenly – poof! Gone.