Over the years there have been many attempts to develop a cloaking device that is easy to work with. The idea of a cloaking device is simple, bend light around an object. However, attempting one in practice has proved to be rather challenging. However, a team from University of Rochester has managed to invent a device that uses just four off the shelf magnifying lenses. The idea of a cloaking device is simple, bend light around an object. The function of the apparatus is remarkably simple, converge the light to a singular beam, and anything outside of that beam becomes hidden.
This device is much simpler than other cloaking devices. “There’ve been many high tech approaches to cloaking and the basic idea behind these is to take light and have it pass around something as if it isn’t there, often using high-tech or exotic materials,” Says John Howell, professor of physics at the University of Rochester. The device is currently one of the only devices that keeps the object hidden no matter where you look through the lens, which means full 3 dimensional cloaking.
Other devices only cloak objects at specific angles. Much deviance and the object becomes visible. Other cloaking devices also distort the background making it obvious when it is in use. Apart from these flaws, other devices are very expensive to build and to operate. However, this simple cloaking device is not safe from flaws either. “This cloak bends light and sends it through the center of the device, so the on-axis region cannot be blocked or cloaked,” Says Choi, a PhD student at the University. The singular beam in the center must remain unobstructed for the device to function. But that’s about the only flaw this device has.
The device is cheap and easy to set up. Just place four magnifying lenses 20cm apart and move the object between the last two lenses until you find the spot where the light bends around it, or where the singular beam becomes smallest. This device can have many far reaching implications because of its cost effectiveness and simplicity, especially in the fiber optic market but implementation might prove to be difficult as fiber optic cables are too opaque. However, the experiment is is an excellent proof of concept that can easily be scaled and is not overly complicated such that anyone can replicate it once the materials are locked down. Detailed instructions on how to build this device can be found on Nisenet website.