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Are Invisibility Cloaks Possible?

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Have you ever wished you could hide under an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter or conceal your car with a Klingon cloaking device like in Star Trek? In a special bonus episode of Reactions, we celebrate the International Year of Light by exploring the science behind light, sight and invisibility. Though we can’t make ourselves invisible yet, some promising research may light the way – or rather, bend the light away.

This episode of Reactions was produced in collaboration with the journal ACS Photonics. For more information on ACS Photonics, please visit: http://pubs.acs.org/journal/apchd5. Additional information on the International Year of Light can be found at: http://www.light2015.org.

Image credits for photos at 2:27:
TACHI Laboratory, University of Tokyo
Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp.

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Writer: Sam Lemonick
Narrator: Noel Waghorn
Animation: Easy Explain Video
Executive Producer: Adam Dylewski
Scientific consultants:
Carlos Toro, Ph.D.
Darcy Gentleman, Ph.D.
Harry Atwater, Ph.D.
Teri Odom, Ph.D.

References:
http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v1/n4/full/nphoton.2007.28.html
http://science.howstuffworks.com/stealth-bomber.htm
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/314/5801/977.abstract
http://www.purdue.edu/uns/x/2007a/070402ShalaevCloaking.html
http://news.discovery.com/tech/silk-invisibility-cloak.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtKBzwKfP8E
http://www.gizmag.com/3d-multidirectional-invisibility-cloak/34007/
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-01/active-camouflage-system-uses-e-ink-make-tanks-invisible-battlefield
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/animals/a11105/behold-the-octopus-inspired-adaptive-camouflage-17108661/

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