London, Nov 24 (ANI): You have seen it in movies and read about it in fantasy novels, but invisibility cloak may no more be just a figment of your imagination.
Researchers at London's Imperial College are one step closer to designing one such cloak - and they actually managed to make an object vanish in all three dimensions - something that's been done for the first time.
Science has been able to conceal an object two-dimensionally meaning it is invisible when the observer looks at it head-on, but visible when viewed from the side.
The breakthrough so far involves 'cloaking' objects of 'sub-millimetre' size - in one case a piece of gold capable of being seen by the naked eye but effectively vanishing when subjected to the experiments.
"It is enough to deliver proof that we can engineer the optical properties of materials in ways believed impossible until now," the Daily Mail quoted European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd as saying.
The 'invisibility cloak' is made up of tiny rods arranged in a structure resembling a woodpile and strategically arranged so that they can partially bend light waves.
This enables scientists to change the speed and direction of travel of light, guiding light waves around a tiny object, effectively making it invisible in three dimensions.
The Commission statement said, "While full-body invisibility cloaks remain beyond the reach of current science and technology, this research has proved an important principle that was until recently believed to be impossible." (ANI)