Out of sight

October 23, 2006

How cool is this: Scientists at Duke University have invented a device that makes things invisible! And they're calling it an "invisibility cloak."

Now as every Harry Potter fan knows, an invisibility cloak is the must-have wardrobe item for fighting dark forces and evil-doers or for escaping from soul-sucking dementors or for just plain sneaking around. We can't wait to get one.

Sadly, we may have to, for a bit anyway. Because actually, as reported in the online journal Science last week, the Duke researchers, using microwave radiation, have come up with something that only works in two dimensions, doesn't render an object totally invisible, and covers something less than a half-inch tall. They're still working on a model that would cover something the size of, say, a toaster.

While that may be fine for smuggling toasters, we had grander plans in mind.

But the good news is that the team leader of the project at Duke is quoted as saying that they know how to make a much better "cloak." The sooner the better. Millions of teenagers who are embarrassed to be seen with their parents are waiting to place their orders.

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