‘Invisibility cloak’ could turn beer bellies into six-packs

Sep 23, 2015

Xiang Zhang group/Berkeley Labor/PA

By Ian Sample

Harry Potter donned his to explore Hogwarts undetected, but an invisibility cloak made by US scientists could find a far more pressing use: making beer bellies look like six-packs.

The ultra-thin skin developed by researchers in California can be laid over a 3D shape to make it look like a flat surface, or even a surface with very different contours to the real ones hidden underneath.

The cloak works its magic by being studded with thousands of nanoscale dots that act like antennas for light. When light falls on the cloak, the dots alter the reflected light waves in such a way that the object appears to be flat.

“It’s the first time we’ve done arbitrary shape cloaking, said Xiang Zhang, who built the device at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you want to cloak people, that is possible with this new work.”

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