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Invisibility Cloak That Generates Virtual Images Gets Closer to Realization

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Engineers from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, have developed a material that can serve as more than an invisibility cloak. The optical transformation media, or illusion media, makes an object invisible as well as generates images in its place. Enclosing an object in an illusion medium layer will result in the appearance of another object or multiple virtual objects. "Hence it can be applied to confuse the detectors or the viewers, and the detectors or the viewers can't perceive the real object," says Southeast University engineer Tie Jun Cui.

The main difference between illusion media and an invisibility cloak is that the new approach uses scattered electrical field patterns to generate virtual images. The proposed optical device would operate at microwave frequencies.

Moreover, illusion media would be easier to fabricate with artificial metamaterials. "All permitivity and permeability components of our illusion media are finite and positive," Cui says.

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