‘Perfect’ Invisibility Cloak Developed by Duke University Scientists

The idea of cloaking technology has been around since the 1960’s on the popular show Star Trek, and more recently, featured in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Most television viewers and readers alike would never in their wildest dreams believe that aninvisibility cloak was even possible. Today, we discover that Duke University scientists might make that dream a reality!

duke university invisibility cloak

Nathan Landry and his “Invisibility Cloak”

According to a BBC report,“cloaking” objects has been done successfully in the lab. In the past, one obstacle that has stood in the way of cloaking technology was reflection. Researchers knew that light waves will reflect even off of clear glass. Although you can see through the glass, you are aware that the glass is present due to reflected light waves.

Duke University scientists Nathan Landry was quoted as saying:

“One issue, which we were fully aware of, was loss of the waves due to reflections at the boundaries of the device. Since the goal was to demonstrate the basic principles of cloaking, we didn’t worry about these reflections.”

That obstacle may have been overcome however. In a Nature Materials article published on Sunday, Landry and fellow Duke University scientists David R. Smith say they have been able to develop a diamond-shaped device made out of copper strips which allows any type of wave, such as light waves, to strike a surface and be reflected or absorbed. This new breakthrough now allows objects to be “perfectly cloaked”.

The cloak works by using microwave radiation and is unidirectional (invisibility is only achieved from one very specific direction). But, the fact that researchers have been able to create a “perfect cloak” at all is extremely promising.

Both Smith and Landry are hopeful that their newest research will one day lead to the development of an omnidirectional cloak.


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