SINGAPORE: Harry Potter had a magic cloak, and Susan Storm of the Fantastic Four had powers that made her disappear.
Being transparent could no longer be just a thing of the movies.
Associate Professor George Barbastathis and co-workers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) in Singapore have made a cloak that can hide objects and it has been hailed as a scientific breakthrough.
Physics World, a renowned science publication, has hailed the cloak as one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2010, ranking it fourth along with a similar prototype created by a different group of researchers from London.
The cloak is built from the naturally occurring crystalline material calcite.
The prototype can only work on a two-dimensional plane.
While it may look simple and unassuming for now, the possibilities from here on are endless.
Dr Barbastathis said: "In the future, it is possible theoretically and I'm certain at some timeframe, it will be possible to operate all around. So it will become what we call the three-dimensional cloak. Then it would be possible to hide objects, for example, underwater. I'm sure there are also military and security applications, and I can let your imagination run loose there."
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