“BEAM OF INVISIBILITY” COULD HIDE OBJECTS USING LIGHT

Credits to Deepika Soni

We need light to see things around us. But wouldn’t it be surprising if we could hide objects and make them invisible by hitting them with a “Beam of Invisibility”! Though limited to the spectral world of “Star Trek” and “Harry Potter,” “Invisibility Cloaks” have always been fascinating to the ever curious human mind. And now scientists have developed a new technique that would make this futuristic technology into a defining reality.
When can an object be Invisible?
To become invisible, an object must do two things: it has to be able to bend light around itself so that it casts no shadow, and it must produce no reflection. Theoretically “Invisible Cloaks” work by smoothly guiding light waves around object boundaries, so the waves ripple along their trajectories as if nothing were there to obstruct them. However, invisibility can be achieved via a different route also. Scientists and researchers of the Technical University of Vienna (TU Wien) have developed a “Beam of Invisibility” that renders an object invisible!
Why do we see objects?
Well, a light wave can enter and exit an object, but, it never passes through the medium in a straight line. Instead, it is scattered into all possible directions. This scattering makes things visible. However, if the original light wave is guided through the object as if the object was not there at all, it would become invisible! Though this sounds strange, scientists at TU Wien have made this possible using specific materials and unique wave technology.
Every object in this world has its own type of microscopic arrangement of atoms inside its lattice which is responsible for scattering the light when it passes through it. Owing to the difference in the microscopic alignment, scattering differs significantly. However if one shines the light beam in such a pattern that correlates perfectly and accurately with the irregularities of the material, then this projection can effectively switch off the distribution, and light beam can pass through the material unhindered and unscattered, making the object invisible for us to see.
The obvious and challenging hurdle was the fact that for every object in this world, a unique arrangement of atoms exists at the microscopic level. Every object that we want to make transparent has to be irradiated with its own specific pattern — depending on the microscopic details of the scattering process inside Therefore, it seemed practically impossible to project a different beam of laser every time. However, the team of scientists at TU Wien developed a method that allows calculating the right pattern accurately for any arbitrary scattering medium.
This “scientifically magical” technology is conceptually verified and is in-principle correct. Computer simulations have shown that the method works. For experimental verification, the acoustics are being used first rather than light waves themselves. This is because, experimentally, sound waves are easier to handle, and from a mathematical point of view, the difference does not vary significantly.
The most surprising aspect for the team of scientists at the TU Wien is that this concept works at all. There may be many more surprises for which the world awaits to experience when dug deeper along these lines.
With the unprecedented pace of the researches and breakthrough innovations, this scientifically magical technology will soon be a happening reality, making our lives interestingly mystified!!