Inspired by the awesome invisibility cloak from the Harry Potter series, scientists at the University of Rochester in New York have developed a deceptively simple method to hide any object from view. By placing "inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration," the research team has discovered a simple way to replicate technology thought to only exist in science fiction and fantasy.
Take a look below:
"A lot of people have worked on a lot of different aspects of optical cloaking for years," John Howell, a professor of physics at Rochester, told Reuters.
"There have been many high-tech approaches to try and achieve cloaking," Howell said in the video. "We just figured a very simple way of doing that can just be using standard lenses and things that we would normally find in the lab."
"This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum," Joseph Choi, a PhD student at Rochester's Institute of Optics, said in a school release.
That is, many clocking devices in the past have been successful when an object is viewed straight-on, but this new apparatus can handle more complex variations and set-ups, all simply by aligning a series of lenses with precise distances between them. Additionally, Choi and Howell are confident that the setup's simplicity means it can be replicated in much smaller or much larger configurations, allowing for a wide array of possible applications.
In fact, the setup is so simple that the Rochester researchers have even included simple, step-by-step instructions on their website so any eager home scientist can try to replicate the results for under $100. And knowing the Internet, it's just a matter of time until something like this becomes a reality: