Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thousands of invisibility cloaks trap a rainbow

Date:
May 25, 2012
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
Many people anticipating the creation of an invisibility cloak might be surprised to learn that a group of American researchers has created 25,000 individual cloaks.

Prism and rainbow of colors. Many people anticipating the creation of an invisibility cloak might be surprised to learn that a group of American researchers has created 25,000 individual cloaks.
Credit: Pete Saloutos / Fotolia

Many people anticipating the creation of an invisibility cloak might be surprised to learn that a group of American researchers has created 25,000 individual cloaks.

But before you rush to buy one from your local shop, the cloaks are just 30 micrometres in diameter and are laid out together on a 25 millimetre gold sheet.

This array of invisibility cloaks is the first of its kind and has been created by researchers from Towson University and University of Maryland who present their study on May 25, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics.

Although the well-reported intention to make everyday objects disappear with a Harry Potter-style cloak is beyond this array of cloaks, they could be used to slow down, or even stop, light, creating what is known as a "trapped rainbow."

The trapped rainbow could be utilised in tiny biosensors to identify biological materials based on the amount of light they absorb and then subsequently emit, which is known as fluorescence spectroscopy. Slowed-down light has a stronger interaction with molecules than light travelling at normal speeds, so it enables a more detailed analysis.

Lead author of the study, Dr Vera Smolyaninova, said: "The benefit of a biochip array is that you have a large number of small sensors, meaning you can perform many tests at once. For example, you could test for multiple genetic conditions in a person's DNA in just one go.

"In our array, light is stopped at the boundary of each of the cloaks, meaning we observe the trapped rainbow at the edge of each cloak. This means we could do 'spectroscopy on-a-chip' and examine fluorescence at thousands of points all in one go."

The 25 000 invisibility cloaks are uniformly laid out on a gold sheet, with each having a microlens that bends light around itself, effectively hiding an area in its middle. As the light squeezes through the gaps between each of the cloaks, the different components of light, or colours, are made to stop at ever narrower points, creating the rainbow.

To construct the array of invisibility cloaks, a commercially available microlens array, containing all of the individual microlenses, was coated with a gold film. This was then placed, gold-side down, onto a glass slide which had also been coated with gold, creating a double layer. A laser beam was directed into the array to test performance of the cloaks at different angles.

The researchers believe that this type of array could also be used to test the performance of individual invisibility cloaks, especially in instances where they may be positioned close together. In this study, for example, the cloaks worked very well when light was shone along the rows; however, when it was shone at different angles, imperfections were clearly visible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V N Smolyaninova, I I Smolyaninov, H K Ermer. Experimental demonstration of a broadband array of invisibility cloaks in the visible frequency range. New Journal of Physics, 2012; 14 (5): 053029 DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/14/5/053029

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Thousands of invisibility cloaks trap a rainbow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103920.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2012, May 25). Thousands of invisibility cloaks trap a rainbow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103920.htm
Institute of Physics. "Thousands of invisibility cloaks trap a rainbow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103920.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Teases India Event, Possible Android One Reveal

Google Teases India Event, Possible Android One Reveal

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) Google has announced a Sept. 15 event in India during which they're expected to reveal their Android One phones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins