28 May 2006

Perfect For Another "Hollow Man" Sequel!

Fans of Steve Guttenberg's "The Man Who Wasn't There" who have endured decades of persecution can now rejoice in their collective prescience: MSNBC reports that an "invisibility cloak" might be a reality sooner than we thought--that is, for those of us who actually sit around pondering such things. Researchers say they are rapidly closing in on new types of materials that can throw a cloak of invisibility around objects, using "real-life" technologies. Of course, the military will be the first to benefit--possibly as soon as within 18 months.

Two separate research groups have posted papers detailing their respective theoretical methods for creating invisibility. One involves superlenses that cancel out the light from nearby objects, while the other proposes actual cloaks onto which video can be projected as a moving camouflage. Still other theories are based on "metamaterials," blends of polymers and tiny coils or wires that twist the paths of electromagnetic radiation (University of Pennsylvania's Nader Engheta published his own invisibility recipe last year).

If these geeks want the public on their side, they'd better enlist Jessica Alba as their poster girl, now...