Inside the Lab Where Invisibility Cloaks Are Made
Just before Christmas I finally got to see an invisibility cloak. I’ve written a whole book about invisibility—its myths, magic, and technology—but never before had I seen in the flesh one of the new devices that promise to make things vanish.
We all know what invisibility is, don’t we? Now you see it, now you don’t. Well, this invisibility cloak certainly wasn’t like that. It was housed in a Plexiglass box, and there was an on-off switch on the side. I was told to look through a viewing screen, through which I saw, in a gold-tinted mirror, the slightly distorted reflection of a toy panda. The reflection had a chunk missing where a couple of small triangular prisms, glued back to back and placed in front of the mirror, obscured the view. When the switch was flipped “on,” that missing part sprang back into view, as though the prisms had become wholly transparent.