Mirage effect from carbon nanotubes = Invisibility cloak

By on October 5, 2011
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The days of moving around like a Predator are here!

Researchers from the University of Dallas have finally made the sci-fi idea of invisibility cloaks a reality. A mirage is basically heat dispersing near the hot surface of an object that can change the refraction of light in the surrounding area. So what you think you see is just an illusion of sorts, as the mind comprehends the bouncing light as something other than what it should be. For instance the effect of water in the middle of a very hot road.

What the boffins at the University of Texas have discovered is that carbon nanotubes, when aligned in a precise order, can be heated up and the heat dissipated so rapidly, that it creates a mirage effect which essentially makes the nanotubes invisible to the human eye. Don’t believe me? Just look at the video below.

Carbon nanotubes have a very light density, similar to that of air, but are just as strong as steel, which makes them extremely good conductors of heat, thus creating the mirage effect to go invisible. And all of that at the flick of switch!

“The remarkable performance of nanotube sheets suggests possible applications as photo-deflectors and for switchable invisibility cloaks, and provides useful insights into their use as thermoacoustic projectors and sonar. Visibility cloaking is demonstrated in a liquid,” wrote the researchers at IOP Science.


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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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