Disappearing act (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb

Disappearing act (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb: "Invisibility has inspired countless myths, novels and films – most recently involving Harry Potter. It is important to realize, however, that invisibility is not the same as transparency. H G Wells’ Invisible Man, for instance, makes himself transparent by inventing a recipe to make his refractive index uniform so that light cannot be scattered or absorbed in his body. In contrast, the Invisible Woman character creates a field that distorts space a bit like the way in which Einstein’s gravitational field warps space–time. Her field is cunningly designed to smoothly guide light around her so that she remains hidden whatever she does. In the September issue of Physics World, Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin describe how this approach to invisibility has allowed a team led by John Pendry of Imperial College in the UK, and, independently, Leonhardt himself to develop the scientific concepts for a bona fide invisibility device.

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