'Invisibility cloaks' come closer to reality

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Washington, July 8 (ANI): A team of researchers at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) have come up with a device called a dc metamaterial, which makes objects invisible under certain light.

The device does so, according to the researchers, under very low frequency electromagnetic waves by making the inside of the magnetic field zero, but not altering the exterior field.

It, thus, acts an invisibility cloak, making the object completely undetectable to these waves, the researchers say.

Based on an initial idea of the British Ben Wood and John Pendry-the latter considered the father of metamaterials-the research is being hailed as a step forward in the race to create devices that can make objects invisible at visible light frequencies.

"The theoretical work provides the details for constructing a real dc metamaterial and represents another step towards invisibility," says Alvar Sanchez, director of the research.

"Now comes a very important stage: building a prototype in the laboratory and applying this device to improving magnetic field detection technology," he adds.

Recent scientific discoveries have suggested that artificial materials containing unique electric and magnetic properties, known as metamaterials, may make it possible to create cloaking devices.

The metamaterial designed by the research group at UAB consists in an irregular network of superconductors, which give materials specific magnetic properties that can create "invisible" areas in the magnetic field and in very low frequency electromagnetic fields.

The researchers say that their discovery can be applied to medical purposes, such as magnetoencephalographic or magnetocardiographic techniques that are used to measure the magnetic fields created by the brain or the heart, which in order to function properly need to shield out all other existing magnetic fields.

They also believe that their discovery can be used in other areas in which magnetic field detection is important, such as in sensors, or to prevent the magnetic detection of ships or submarines.

A research article on their work has been published in the journal Applied Physics Letters. (ANI)

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