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China's New Invisibility Coat

Have you ever wanted to be invisible like Harry Potter? Remember the invisibility cloak that was Potter's signature item? Well, it has been brought to real life by recent researchers.

Chinese researcher Chu Junhao has brought us closer to this Harry Potter dream by transcending the boundaries of optical technology. At a recent scientific conference, he presented his team's "invisibility cloak."

The cloak is named InvisDefense which was developed by a team at Wuhan University. It is a low-cost coat that can be used during the day or night. At night, thermal devices, embedded in the coat, emit different temperatures. It presents an unusual heat pattern which allows the coat to evade security cameras.

To get more technical, the invisibility of the cloak was achieved with a series of templates or lenticular grids. They are transparent sheets made of tiny convex cylindrical lenses. When light passes through the material, a refraction phenomenon occurs and erases the image from the visual field. The material will then cause the light to be compressed into thin strips. When the number of lenses is large enough, the invisibility effect occurs. Here, the image perceived breaks down into millions of identical particles, making it impossible for the human eye to capture the elements. What is in front of the viewer dissapears.

How does this new discovery effect current issues?

Many people are worried about the cloak's use in military endeavors. What happens if it falls into the wrong hands? There are worries that it will be used to hide weapons, making it more dangerous if other countries start replicating it for malicious intent. For example, Junhao mentioned that it could be used to hide planes in the air. This could pose a dangerous threat in the case of war against the US.

However, many people are also ecstatic in its use for fashion. Could this invisible fabric be used as a new form of fashion? Junhao stated he is looking forwards to see the different applications of his invisibility cloak.


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