TECH

Invisibility Cloak Using Teflon And Topological Optimisation Could Bring

11/09/2013 12:25 BST | Updated 11/09/2013 12:27 BST

Scientists in China have developed a fully functioning invisibility cloak that can be produced in 15 minutes.

Unfortunately it only works on microwave wavelengths so is only possibly useful to the everyday man in a world where you are hunted by certain kitchen appliances.

Scientifically though, the technology is very exciting indeed.

invisible man

This level of sophistication is some way off...

Previous invisibility cloaks rely on metamaterials that deflect waves around an object to make it 'disappear' but making them is expensive and time-consuming.

The new method uses Teflon and a technique called topological optimisation.

A computer program simulates how light is distorted as it passes by an object. It then works out the shape required to minimise distortion and make the object invisible.

This object is then carved out of Teflon to create a "teflon eyelid".

Researchers at Zhejiang University used the technique to hide a cylindrical metal disc the size of a poker chip from microwaves.

The ease in which it is made means the tantalising possibility of mass-produced invisibility cloaks.

Those behind the discovery hope it will open up further avenues in the field and one day maybe even work in the visible light range.